Polish retail sales posted slower-than-expected growth in October, statistics office data showed on Wednesday, as consumers in Emerging Europe’s largest economy cut back spending due to surging inflation. Private consumption has been the driving force behind economic growth in Poland in recent years, and the reading – coming just a day after lower-than-forecast industrial output data – signals a further slowdown to come. Polish nominal retail sales in constant prices rose by 0.7% in October, according to the statistics office. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected retail sales to rise by 3.2%, year on year. “The picture is rather grim,” said Adam Antoniak, a senior economist at ING in Warsaw. “The outlook for the final-quarter GDP growth is going to be lower than in the previous quarter [...] and we think that, at the beginning of next year, we may actually see a negative figure on a year-on-year basis.” Fuel sales fell by 20.5%, year on year, according to the data, while sales of furniture, appliances and electronics fell by 5.0%.
Italian regional retailer Famila has forecast a 5% year-on-year increase in turnover for 2022 and hopes to end the year with approximately €2.7 billion in sales. According to the grocery company, this performance is likely to be achieved in a very complicated scenario, influenced by inflation and cost-of-living concerns. The general manager of Selex Gruppo Commerciale (which owns the Famila banner), Maniele Tasca, said that he is concerned about the consumption trend in the coming months, due to continuous requests for price increases from suppliers, reports ESMmagazine.com. According to Tasca, “The scenario for 2023, although highly uncertain, does not appear to be further worsening, compared to 2022.” For 2023, some €100 million in capex investment is planned, which will go towards 19 new openings and the renovation of 21 shops.
Avian flu has wiped out 50.54 million birds in the United States this year, making it the country’s deadliest outbreak in history, US Department of Agriculture data showed on Thursday. The deaths of chickens, turkeys, and other birds represent the worst US animal health disaster to date, topping the previous record of 50.5 million birds that died in an avian flu outbreak in 2015. Birds often die after becoming infected. Entire flocks, which can top a million birds at egg-laying chicken farms, are also culled, to control the spread of the disease after a bird tests positive. Losses of poultry flocks sent prices for eggs and turkey meat to record highs, worsening economic pain for consumers facing red-hot inflation and making Thursday’s Thanksgiving celebrations more expensive in the United States. Europe and Britain are also suffering their worst avian flu crises, and some British supermarkets rationed customers’ egg purchases after the outbreak disrupted supplies.