Credit: TMA/BD

Czechs Cut Costs Mostly On Food As High Inflation Continues

As inflation hits the country hard, Czech citizens have started saving mostly on food, though overall sales have decreased across the retail sector. Photo credit: TMA / Brno Daily.

Brno, Feb 8 (BD) – Year-on-year sales in retail trade decreased by 7.3% in real terms in December, according to the latest report from the Czech Statistical Office (CZSO).

“The year-on-year decline in retail sales in December was caused by the lower sales of both food and non-food goods,” said Jana Gotvaldová, head of the Department of Trade, Transport and Services Statistics at CZSO. “Sales decreased eight months in a row, with food sales falling to their lowest since 2001, when the survey began. Fuel sales, after seven months of continuous decline, showed a year-on-year increase in December.” 

Czechs have started paying more attention to what they put in their shopping carts. Food sales fell by 12% in specialised stores and by 10% in non-specialised stores selling mostly food. Czech consumers behave rationally, the inflation in food products reached almost 30% in 2022. 

For the entire year 2022, retail sales decreased by 3.6% year-on-year. Household products, PC and communication technologies, and products for culture and sport have been among the most impacted sectors. Sales in specialised stores for household products fell by over 11%, computer and communication equipment by 10%, and products for culture, sports and recreation by 5%.

“For the full year 2022, sales in retail trade decreased by 3.6%, including a decrease of 5.1% for food, 2.9% for non-food and 1.5% for fuel. Sales and repairs of motor vehicles decreased by 4.2%,” says Marie Boušková, Director of the Trade, Transport, Services, Tourism and Environment Statistics Department of CZSO.

On the other hand, sales in stores with pharmaceutical and medical goods grew by almost 4%.

Situation in the EU

In December, the volume of retail trade was down by 2.7% in the euro area and by 2.6% in the EU, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the euro area, the volume of retail trade decreased by 2.9% for food, drinks and tobacco and by 2.6% for non-food products, while it grew by 2.3% for automotive fuels. 

“Among Member States for which data are available, the largest yearly decreases in the total retail trade volume were registered in Belgium (-9.2%), Denmark (-8.4%) and Sweden (-7.1%). The highest increases were observed in Malta (+5.7%), Romania (+5.3%) and Spain (+4.6%),” wrote Eurostat in a 6 February report.

In December, inflation in the Czech Republic stood at 15.8%, compared to 10.4% in the EU and 9.2% in the euro area. Inflation in the US was at 6.5% in December.
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