Dec. 18, 2009
-- The BMI Romania Retail report predicts that the country's total retail sales will rise by more than 30% by 2013, growing from US$40.87bn in 2008 to an estimated US$53.26bn by 2013. Continuing wage growth, the recent consumer-lending boom and rising disposable income following the introduction of a new flat rate of income tax are key factors behind retail market expansion. The privatisation process since 1990 and EU membership gained in 2007 have allowed retailers to make significant inroads into the market, contributing to forecast annual retail sales growth of 6.1% in dollar terms. Romania's nominal gross domestic product (GDP) was US$190.71bn in 2008, with a decline of 4.2% expected in 2009 as the economy goes into reverse. Average annual GDP growth of 2.4% is now predicted by BMI between 2008 and 2013. Although the population is forecast to decrease slightly, from 21.4mn in 2008 to an estimated 21.3mn by 2013, GDP per capita is predicted to grow by 12.8% by the end of the forecast period, reaching US$10,040. Our assumption of consumer spending per capita is for an increase from US$4,516 in 2008 to US$5,450 by 2013. Wage growth in Romania, as in many other Emerging European countries, has accelerated quickly over the past few years, having more than doubled between 2000 and 2006 from US$3,791 to US$8,286. The European Commission (EC) expects both nominal and real 2008 wage growth in Romania to have been the fastest among all 27 member states. The country has the second-biggest population in Central Europe after Poland, with some 39.2% of the total in the 20-44 years age range in 2005, according to United Nations (UN) data. This segment of the population, which represents a key element of future retail spending, is forecast to increase to 41.1% by 2010. The proportion of the population classified by the UN as 'active' was 70.1% in 2005, and should reach 70.7% by 2010. Non-food retail sub-sectors benefiting from changing patterns of consumption in Romania include clothing and footwear, which constituted 6.2% of total household monthly expenditure in 2006, up from 5.9% in 2001, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INSSE); and furniture, which accounted for 4%, up from 2.9% in 2001. BMI estimates that food and drink had a 56.1% share of the total retail market in 2008, and this is forecast to rise to 67.6% by 2013. Meanwhile, over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical sales, which were worth an estimated US$720mn, or 1.8% of total retail sales, in 2008, are expected to grow to US$1.0bn, or 1.9% of total sales, by the end of the forecast period. Automotive sales are estimated at US$4.71bn in 2008, 11.5% of the total retail market, and are forecast to increase to US$13.16bn, or 24.7% of total retail sales, by 2013. Retail sales for the BMI universe of CEE countries in 2008 amounted to an estimated US$1.20trn, based on the varying national definitions. Total consumer spending for the region, based on BMI's macroeconomic database, amounts to US$1.82trn. Russia, Turkey and Poland together in 2008 accounted for an estimated 83% of regional retail sales, with their combined share expected to reach almost 85% by 2013. For Romania, the estimated 2008 market share of 3.4% is expected to be the same by 2013.
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