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    Retail Sales Surge in March 2024: Analysis of Trends and Expectations

    The latest data released by the Central Statistical Office (GUS) indicates a notable surge in retail sales in March 2024, surpassing both yearly and monthly forecasts. Retail sales in constant prices saw a year-on-year increase of 6.1%, while month-on-month growth stood at an impressive 14.2%. This outpaced the consensus forecast by PAP Business, which anticipated a 6.5% year-on-year rise and a 14.0% increase month-on-month.

    Sectoral Performance Diverges

    Examining sectoral dynamics reveals varying performance across different categories. The automotive sector witnessed a substantial year-on-year increase of 13.5%, albeit with a more moderate month-on-month growth of 5.8%. Conversely, clothing and footwear experienced a significant year-on-year decline of -15.2%, although they rebounded with a robust month-on-month growth of 26.5%.

    Several factors likely contributed to the overall retail sales upswing. Continued economic recovery, bolstered by increased consumer confidence and stable employment figures, likely fueled higher spending. Additionally, factors such as seasonal trends and promotional activities might have played a role in stimulating demand across certain product categories.

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