Retail sales decreased by six percent in April. According to Jana Gotvaldov, head of the trade, transport and services statistics department, sales in non-specialized food stores and sales of household products were mainly responsible for their decline.

Sales in clothing and footwear stores fell by 13.3 percent, with products for culture, sports and recreation by 11.9 percent, with clothing and communication equipment by 11.3 percent and with household products by 9.8 percent. On the contrary, stores with pharmaceutical and medical products recorded an increase of 3.4 percent and cosmetics and toiletry products by 10 percent.

In the last six months, revenues from online shopping have fallen, but their decline has slowed considerably. While in previous months it was less than ten percent, in June it was 2.8 percent.

The limited purchase will continue

Retail trade will only avoid a decline in the following months. Due to the sharp decline in the real purchasing power of the population as a result of further growth in inflation, consumer behavior is also decreasing. A real decrease in needs, limiting consumption, switching to discounts and online stores is probably the most likely scenario for the second half of the summer, says Petr Dufek, chief economist at Creditas.

Current data show that households are starting to put the brakes on their consumption. According to Miroslav Novek, an analyst at the company Akcenta, no one is surprised. Consumer inflation hit market records and the most in sensitive items such as energy and food. Consumers’ fears about inflation are at a record high, and the fear of households that their financial situation will worsen has started to worsen sharply this year, he explains.

As far as retail is concerned, the second half of this year will, for the above-mentioned reasons, be a sign of a permanent decrease in demand, and in summary for this year we can expect an interannual drop in retail sales of roughly two percent, concluded Novk.

According to Filip Pastucha, an economist at Deloitte, the decline in retail demand will last the whole of this year, and probably for the next 100 years. According to the preliminary estimate of GDP in the 2nd quarter, the main component of growth was household consumption, but it cannot be relied on in the second half of the year, and the threat of recession is known, the economist pointed out.