Decrease in retail sales
The seasonally-adjusted volume index of retail sales decreased by 4.9 percent from July to August 2020. This follows an increase of 0.6 percent from June to July.
New figures from the retail trade index show a substantial decrease in the seasonal adjusted volume for August. Despite this decrease the sales volume remains considerably higher than before the corona pandemic. The pandemic and regulations imposed to limit infections have contributed to Norwegians changing their consumption pattern in the direction of spending less on services, and more on retail goods. These changes in the shopping pattern of the Norwegian people have made the seasonally adjusted figures more volatile.
1 March 2020 and the subsequent months are specified as outliers in the seasonal adjustment routine. Hence, the trend figures for the latest months are not included in the figure.
Figure 1. Retail sales volume index, seasonally adjusted and trend. 2015=100
Broad decline in retail sales
Most branches of the retail sector experienced a decline in the seasonally adjusted volume index in August. The largest contribution to the overall decline came from grocery stores, stores selling sporting equipment and furniture shops. Clothing stores and electronic stores also had a reduction in the sales volume this month. The only branch that experienced noticeable growth was pharmacies which somewhat dampened the total decline.
Index of household consumption of goods
The index of household consumption of goods, which shows the consumption of goods in Norwegian households, has been published simultaneously with the retail sales index for august. Due to change of the base year the index of household consumption goods will be published in conjunction with the quarterly national accounts November 12 instead of October 28.