Norway’s seasonally adjusted volume of retail sales decreased by 3.8% from July to August, the latest data from Statistics Norway has revealed. It follows a decline of 3.1% from June to July.
The pandemic and regulations imposed to limit infections have contributed to Norwegian consumers changing their consumption patterns and spending less on services, and more on retail goods.
Changes in the shopping pattern have made the seasonally adjusted figures more volatile, Statistics Norway noted.
Grocery Store Sales
Grocery stores contributed the most to the decline in the seasonally adjusted volume in August, falling 5.8% month-on-month. In addition, gas stations and stores selling sporting equipment also contributed to the decline.
According to chief consultant at Statistics Norway, Marie Skjeldås, the decline for grocery stores is probably related to the reopening of society, which means that more people eat out in restaurants and canteens. "In addition, it has become easier to cross the border into Sweden to shop," Skjeldås added.
Elsewhere, clothing stores experienced an increase in the seasonally adjusted volume, which offset the overall decline, Statistics Norway added.
The retail sales of food and beverages declined by 2.8% in this period.
Alcohol sales in Norway rose by 20.8% in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the corresponding quarter last year, achieving a 'record high' for quarterly alcohol sales in the country. Total alcohol sales stood at 7.2 million litres, compared to 5.3 million litres for the corresponding period in 2020.