According to Statistics Finland, overall sales climbed by 5.9 percent in April compared to a year earlier. Leading the way were motor vehicle sales, which surged by 13.6 percent over 2017.
Growth in wholesale trade outpaced that in retail, rising by 6.4 percent compared to 1.3 percent for retail trade. The strongest retail sales came from specialised stores, while there was actually a slight decline of 1.6 percent in sales of daily consumer goods. Department store sales remained flat, the official number-crunchers said on Wednesday.
Easter affects food sales in different months
Over the first four months of the year, retail sales were up by 3.2 percent while wholesale trade rose by 5.2 percent year-on-year. Car sales gained 5.5 percent in the January-through-April period. Overall trade was 4.7 percent higher than in early 2017.
The central statistics office points out a quirk of spring retail reporting: the variable date of Easter. Its reported annual changes in sales are not adjusted according to seasons or trading days. In other words the impact of public holidays is not considered. So, for example, Easter falling in different months shows up in food sales during March and April.