Slovakia ́s revenues from retail trade (excluding car sales) tanked by 2.7 % in May year-on-year, following a 1.8% gain the previous month, according to data from the Slovak Statistical Office released on July 4 -- the biggest month-on-month fall since 2012.
The sales declined in non-specialized stores by 5.1% down from 1.8% growth in April, for information and communication technologies in specialized stores posted a decline of -8.6% (at 5.7% in April. The sales slowed for food, beverages and tobacco to 14.6% growth, down from 17.8% in April, for automotive fuel at 1.3% increase, down from 12.9% in April.
Meanwhile, sales advanced faster for cultural and recreational goods, which grew by 22.2% in the month, up from 17.6% growth in April and for those in stalls and markets up by 16.3% from 13.1% in April. Month-on-month retail sales dropped by 1.9% after a 0.4% increase in April.
The sale of cars and vehicles also expanded in May.
"Turnover in sale and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles increased y/y by 6.8%, affected by a higher turnover in sale of motor vehicles by 10.1% and in sale of motor vehicle parts and accessories by 0.9%," said the office, adding that in 5M19, the turnover in sale and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles went up by 7.5%, due to the growth in sale of motor vehicles by 8.6%.
Despite a growth of turnover in sales of motor vehicles, there are warning lights flashing for Slovakia ́s auto industry, according to Reuters. Volkswagen's Bratislava factory decided to enter a round of job cuts that has sent shockwaves through the country lately. Competition from lower-cost southeastern European markets, a shift to electric vehicles and global trade tensions are seen as the main reasons.
"To use a car metaphor, we see a warning light, we don't need to take the car for a general repair yet. …We have 300,000 people working in the car sector (directly and indirectly). Should anything happen to them it would be serious," said the Slovak Economy Minister Peter Ziga for Reuters.
On the other hand, Slovakia's Jaguar Land Rover plant is entering the final stage of its massive recruitment campaign, hiring up to 2,200 employees, to be able to launch the second shift, to result in the annual production of 150,000 cars, reported by daily Sme.sk.
Retail Sales y/y in Slovakia averaged 3.11% from 1996 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 28.60% in April of 1999 and a record low of -14.30% in February of 2009, according to Trade Economics.