Significant drop in shopping in August after four months of solid growth – E24

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Retail sales fell by 4.9 per cent in August, but sales are still higher than before the corona crisis, Statistics Norway reports.

CORONASHOPPING: There has been solid growth in retail since Norway closed in March. One of the reasons is limited opportunities to spend money on travel, restaurants and services. When society now opens up, this can level off somewhat.

Berit Keilen / NTB

Published:,

Retail trade fell 4.9 per cent in August from the previous month, according to Statistics Norway (SSB).

“Despite the decline, however, sales volume is still significantly higher than before the corona pandemic hit Norway,” the agency writes.

In advance, an average of 2.4 percent was expected to fall, according to TDN Direkt. However, there were large gaps in economists’ estimates; the lowest expectation was −0.8 per cent and the highest was 0.1 per cent.

There has been good growth in retail trade over the past four months, but in July the rise slowed to 0.6 per cent.

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Wide decline

The decline is widespread in most industries, but those that pulled down the most were grocery stores, sports stores and furniture stores. There was also a decline in clothing stores and electronics stores.

The only industry that experienced noticeable growth in August was retail trade in pharmacy goods, which helped to curb the decline in the total index somewhat.

“Retail sales corrected sharply in August, and more than we expected. However, the level is still high, while service consumption is still at low levels. Consumption is far from normal, “Handelsbanken writes in a comment.

The broader index of goods consumption, which also includes car purchases and electricity, fell by 3.8 per cent in August.

Norwegians have turned their consumption in the direction of spending less money on the purchase of services during the corona crisis, and all the more on the consumption of goods. When society gradually returns to normal, this can level off somewhat.

Retail is an important part of the Norwegian economy. The trading industry accounts for about ten percent of the total value creation in mainland Norway and employs close to 400,000 people, according to the government.

Here you will find the figures at Statistics Norway

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