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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Retail Sales up 3.1% in February

Retail sales totaled 31.3 billion crowns in February, up 3.1 percent in comparison with the same period of 1998. This continued an upward trend in retail sales, as in January and February, sales were 61.7 billion crowns, up 6.4 percent y/y, the Slovak Statistics Bureau said on Friday.

Sales in wholesale trade mounted 9.7% year-on-year (in current prices) to 54.1 billion crowns in February. Sales in wholesale trade grew 8.9% to 104.7 billion crowns year-on-year in the first two months of 1999. The share of the private sector in wholesale trade increased 0.3% to 99.5% year-on-year.

An 80.8% growth in the wholesale trade of goods for households, a 61% rise in wholesale trade of food and tobacco and a 43.6% growth in wholesale trade of agriculture-commodities and livestock were the most responsible for the volume of wholesale sales.

The wholesale trade reported a downward trend in trade of machinery and equipment (down 15.8 percent) and other non-agricultural sectors.

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