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Published: 13 May 2016

Total trade sales fell by 3.3 per cent in March year-on-year

According to Statistics Finland, retail trade sales fell by 0.8 per cent in March from March 2015. Sales in department stores contracted by 3.4 per cent, whereas daily consumer goods sales went up by 2.0 per cent. Among the main sectors of trade, sales contracted most in wholesale trade, in total by 6.2 per cent from one year ago. In turn, motor vehicle sales grew by 2.5 per cent. Sales decreased in total trade by 3.3 per cent from March 2015.

Annual change in turnover in trade industries, % (TOL 2008)

Annual change in turnover in trade industries, % (TOL 2008)

Sales volume of retail trade increased by 0.9 per cent in March from the year before

The volume of retail trade sales grew by 0.9 per cent in March from March 2015. Sales volume in motor vehicle trade grew by 2.3 per cent during the same period. In turn, the sales volume in wholesale trade decreased by 3.0 per cent from the previous year. The volume of total sales contracted by 0.9 per cent in March from March 2015.

The volume index of sales is calculated by removing the effect of price changes from the value index series. Due to fallen prices, the sales volume developed more favourably than turnover in all sectors of trade apart from motor vehicle trade.

Sales grew by 7.6 per cent in motor vehicle trade in the first quarter

Sales in retail trade and wholesale trade went down in January to March compared with January to March 2015. Retail trade sales fell by 0.3 per cent and wholesale trade sales by 3.2 per cent. In turn, the sales volume in motor vehicle trade increased by 7.6 per cent from one year back. Total trade sales went down by 0.8 per cent over the corresponding period.

The reported annual changes in trade sales and sales volumes are not seasonally or trading day adjusted, which means that the effects of public holidays are not considered. In March, the development of sales was partly due to Easter being in March this year, while last year it was in April. The fact that Easter occurs in different months is in particular visible in the sales development of food during March and April. In addition, the development of retail trade in March to April was affected by large sales campaigns being arranged in different months than last year. The opening hours of retail shops were deregulated starting from 1 January 2016 after which some retail shops have extended their opening hours.

Source: Turnover of trade, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Seija Karttunen 029 551 2741,

Director in charge: Mari Ylä-Jarkko

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Revisions in these statistics

Updated 13.05.2016

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Turnover of trade [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-0939. March 2016. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 1.3.2024].
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