Strong increase in retail sales in April
The seasonally-adjusted volume index of retail sales increased by 4.8 percent from March to April 2020. This follows a decrease of 0.9 percent from February to March. More time spent at home and a stop in foreign travels have affected the shopping pattern of the Norwegian people.
New figures from the retail sales index show a strong growth in the seasonal adjusted volume for April. The entire Easter month was affected by actions against the spreading of the Corona-virus with powerful travel restrictions and ban against most cultural and sporting events. The strong growth in retail trade suggest that Norwegians have changed their consumption pattern in the direction of spending less on services, and more on certain retail goods. These changes in the shopping pattern of the Norwegian people have had a strong effect on the seasonally adjusted figures.
Due to the treatment of March and April as extreme values, the trend for the recent months is not representable for the actual development in retail sales. The trend for the most recent months has therefore been excluded from the figure. For more information on this, see the information box at the bottom of the article.
Figure 1. Retail sales volume index, seasonally adjusted and trend. 2015=100
Strong month for building materials and sports equipment
Many of the various retail sectors experienced growth in April. The largest contribution to the growth in the overall retail index was stores selling building materials, followed by stores selling sporting equipment and boats. Other sectors who experienced growth was clothing stores, flower shops, e-commerce and furniture shops.
On the other hand, there was a decline in sales volume for gas stations and pharmacies.
Seasonally-adjusted figures show that retail sales volume increased by 2.4 percent in February to April 2020, compared to November 2019 to January 2020.