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Czech Retail Sales Drop In March

The Czech Republic's retail sales dropped in March, data from the Czech Statistical Office showed on Wednesday.

Retail sales fell by working-day adjusted 9.3 percent annually in March, after a 3.5 percent rise in February. In January, retail sales grew 4.9 percent.

On an unadjusted basis, retail sales fell 8.9 percent year-on-year in March. Economists had expected a 9.0 percent fall.

On a month-on-month basis, retail sales fell 12.2 percent in March.

Sales of automotive fuel dropped by 15.8 percent and those of non-food goods declined by 22.7 percent.

Meanwhile, sales of food increased by 3.2 percent.

Sales were influenced by measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 which led many stores with mostly non-food goods to close or limit their operation, the agency said.

The most significant annual decrease in sales occurred in stores with clothing, footwear and leather goods by 64.9 percent and in stores with cultural and recreation goods by 47.1 percent, the statistical office added.

Sales also decreased in specialized stores with information and communication equipment and other household equipment in specialized stores.

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