Bulgaria had largest drop in EU in retail trade volume in August 2020 y/y

Bulgaria recorded the largest decrease in retail trade volume among all European Union countries in August 2020 on an annual basis, EU statistics agency Eurostat said.

August was the fifth consecutive month that Eurostat figures showed Bulgaria as having had the EU’s largest decrease in retail trade volume year-on-year.

Bulgaria’s decrease was 12.2 per cent, with Malta second-worst among EU countries at a decrease of 7.5 per cent and Slovenia at 6.6 per cent.

The pictures on an annual basis and a monthly basis varied, but showed the evolution of the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on business in Bulgaria, and the changes as restrictions were eased.

In March 2020, the month that Bulgaria declared a State of Emergency because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the month-on-month comparison of retail trade volume saw a drop of 20.1 per cent. In that month, trade at shopping malls was suspended by government order, leaving only food shops and financial services in shopping malls in Bulgaria open for business, for as long as the State of Emergency lasted.

In April, compared with March, the difference in retail trade volume on a monthly basis changed to minus two per cent. In turn, in May, the month-on-month comparison showed a one per cent increase, in June, also one per cent, in July, two per cent, rising to 2.6 per cent in August.

Year-on-year comparisons showed Bulgaria’s drop as 14.6 per cent in March, 19.9 per cent in April, 20.4 per cent in May, 18.1 per cent in June and 17.5 per cent in July.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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