Retail market in Poland thriving in 4Q2016.

The numbers coming from the Central Statistical Office (GUS) show that the end of 2016 was a very good time for the retail sector in Poland. Positive situation on the labour market made Poles inclined to visit stores and spend noticeably more money there than twelve months ago. The shopping spree is good for the economy, as it means more budget revenue in the form of VAT tax included in the price of goods and services.

According to the statistics office, year-on-year retail sales in December grew by 6.1 percent. However, if you compare the December data with the numbers for November, you will notice the sales increased as much as 20.6 percent. This result is very impressive. The reason for such a big increase in sales is of course the Christmas season. It is worth noting that Christmas shopping starts early in Poland, as Polish children receive gifts on the 6th of December, Saint Nicolas Day.

Retail sales grew in all sectors. Compared with November 2016, in December the biggest spike could be observed in the category including press, books, and other sales in specialised stores (44% growth), followed by textiles, clothing and shoes (29% growth). When compared with December 2015, retail sales this December increased the most for food, beverages and tobacco products as well as textiles, clothing and shoes. However, there was a fall reported in the categories of other and other retail sales in unspecialised stores.

One reason behind the improved consumer spending is certainly the 500+ benefit programme. Also, the situation on the job market is very good. The unemployment rate is standing below 10% and the wages are going up. In December 2016, the average salary in companies employing more than 10 people was 4,635 PLN, which is the highest amount in history. Economic experts are convinced the growing trend both with respect to the salaries and retail sales will continue.