The first quarter of 2018 has been positive for the overall retail trade, according to the new figures from the Central Office for Statistics. In the first three months of the year, sales increased by 2.7 percent and the volume by 2.3 percent. However, it was especially good news for supermarkets, drugstores and furniture vendors, while turnover in the apparel and shoe sector fell slightly to a considerable amount.

Retail growth has been the lowest on a quarterly basis since the third quarter of 2016, according to the office. The apparel sector got off to a relatively good start in the first three months with a decrease of 1.3 percent. The shoe and leather goods industry suffered a blow of 9.2 percent. The largest percentage growth was seen in sales via the internet, which increased by 21.7 percent in recent times. Multi-channelers saw their internet turnover increase by 28.5 percent, with pure players the growth amounted to 19.3 percent.

The retail trade therefore saw sales grow, but the confidence among entrepreneurs in the segment has declined. The confidence indicator dropped from 14.8 to 2.4. The decline in confidence was caused by lower turnover expectations and revenue realizations and an increased number of entrepreneurs who find stocks too high.