Last Friday, Rosstat published the monthly statistics pack on economic conditions for April.
The unemployment rate declined to 5.6% from 5.7% in March. However the seasonally higher demand on the labour force masked the upturn in the SA unemployment rate, which rose slightly (to 5.4%).
Wages growth has slowed, but from upwardly revised figures (real/nominal wages grew 4.2%/11.7% YoY last month vs. the 5.1% YoY and 12.5% YoY).
Real retail sales growth edged down to 4.1% YoY from March’s 4.4% YoY. The recent deceleration was mainly on slower food sales growth (1.6% YoY in April vs. 2.7% YoY in March), while a pick-up in non-food sales growth (to 6.2% YoY from 5.7% YoY) was supportive for the headline reading.
Investments declined 0.7% YoY in April, following a 0.8% YoY drop a month ago.
Construction slowed sharply to minus 3.7% YoY after two months of almost zero growth.