Following three years of decline, sales of new cars have begun to rise in recent months. Sales of new cars in March-May averaged 130,000 units a month, or about 10 % more than a year earlier. Sales were still, however, only about half of the levels during the last peak in car sales in 2012.
In addition to passenger cars, the sales volumes for many other durable goods such as home appliances and electronics have risen slightly. In contrast, sales of food items and clothing have declined and restrained the overall growth in goods sales because their share of sales is rather large. This year, for example, passenger cars and dairy products each accounted for just under 5 % of total retail sales. In the January-April period, the total volume of retail sales contracted by just over 1 % y-o-y. Food sales fell by 2.5 % and other goods by 0.3 %.