Albania's retail sales fell by 0.4% y/y in the first quarter of 2020, after rising by the 3.9% in the previous quarter, according to seasonally unadjusted data published by the statistics office, INSTAT, on June 18.
Albania was under a lockdown since March as part of the measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, which saw a shutdown of public transport and movement restrictions, including on using cars.
The decline of sales was mainly a result of the huge drop of retail sales of motor fuels which contributed 1.7 pp to the overall decline. However the decline was offset by sales of food, beverages and tobacco, whose positive contribution to overall retail sales was 1.3 pp.
Compared with the previous quarter, seasonally adjusted retail sales declined by 4.3% in the first quarter, after edging down 0.1% q/q in 4Q19, data indicated.
In annual terms, retail sales excluding fuel sales went up by 1.8% in the first quarter, decelerating from a 3.7% y/y increase in the previous quarter.
Fuel sales dropped 6.1% y/y in the first three months, following a 4.8% y/y increase in the previous quarter.
Retail sales of food, beverages and tobacco in both specialised and non-specialised stores advanced 5% y/y, accelerating from a 2.6% y/y increase in the previous quarter.
Sales of non-food items edged down by 0.2% y/y in the period under review, following a 4.4% hike in the previous quarter.