Hot Weather Gives Sales, Economy a Boost ({{commentsTotal}})

Hot summer weather and seasonal planning by businesses has seemingly spurred increased sales in every corner of the consumer economy in Estonia.

Retail sales of goods rose in June by 7 percent year-on-year at fixed prices, Statistics Estonia reported today, after seeing 4 percent growth in May. Retail sales of goods at retail trade enterprises were 427.6 million euros, which is equivalent to 325 euros per inhabitant.

Sales in resort towns are particularly strong, and summer-ending discount campaigns are coming to an end. The Maxima supermarket chain began discounted sales in July, and they have gone even better than last year, Erkki Erilaid, a communications manager for the company, told ERR radio.

When compared to July of last year, Maxima's sales have increased by 7-8 percent, said Erilaid, and warm summer weather has added a boost.

Rimi representative Katrin Bats also confirmed that end-of-season sales have been very successful so far, and that the company is also satisfied with summer month sales.

Every summer, she said, sales increase in regions where more tourists go, like resort towns, islands and rural areas. But Bats said this summer has been particularly popular, particularly grilled food items.

Kaubamaja commercial director Heli Viirand said total sales figures were higher than the previous year, despite the fact that the weather was chilly in June and very hot in July. In June, people were still buying winter clothes, such as jackets, she said. Currently, the most popular articles, however, are sales of summer clothing.

Retail sales increased also year-on-year in June by mail or via the Internet, where sales grew by 25 percent. Sales also increased in stores selling textiles, clothing and footwear (19 percent), and in stores selling household goods, appliances, hardware and building materials (18 percent).

Specialized retail stores - such as computers sellers, photography supplies, books, sports equipment, games and toys, flowers - saw 17 percent growth. Pharmaceutical goods and cosmetics saw a 15 percent rise year-on-year.

Economic growth has not been limited to the consumer sector, however. Production of industrial goods, which slowed significantly in May picked up again in June, growing 14 percent year-on-year.  

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