Retail sales, excluding VAT, rose 4.2% year on year in December, significantly below the 5.5% increase in the previous month. The rate of growth in retail sales in October was 5.6%.

Sales of food, beverages and tobacco grew 3.7% year on year in December while sales of non-food products rose 4.7%. Retail sales of automotive fuel increased by 4% in the month.

On a month by month basis, retail sales increased 19.2% in December. Excluding automotive fuel, retail trade jumped by 23.8%.