European FMCG sales enjoy upturn in the first quarter of 2013, Nielsen reports

European FMCG sales experienced an upturn in the first quarter of 2013 after four successive quarters of slowing year-on-year growth, according to the latest figures released today by global information and insights company Nielsen. 
 
FMCG sales growth across Europe during the first quarter of 2013 was up to +3.3% year-on-year, from +2.8% the previous quarter (Q4 2012). The rate of sales value growth had decreased in each of the four previous quarters from +5.2% in Q4 2011.
 
Turkey, Finland and Austria experienced the highest year-on-year sales growth in Q1 among the 21 European countries measured, while the UK had the highest growth of the big five western European markets. Greece and Ireland were the only two countries to experience a year-on-year decline.
 
European FMCG price inflation, which makes up most of the increase in nominal value growth, was 3.1% in Q1 2013, marginally up from 3.0% in Q4 2012. Eight of the 21 countries experienced price inflation above 3.0%; only Greece and Norway experienced a year-on-year decline.
Nielsen’s European director of retail insights, Jean-Jacques Vandenheede, said: “European FMCG sales figures remain very encouraging. Unlike almost every other sector, FMCG has never been close to experiencing a recession; we are simply not seeing consumer purchasing of FMCG products being curtailed by the wider economic climate.”
 
FMCG growth by big 5 western EU
E.g. Europe’s 3.3% value sales growth was accounted for by a 3.1% increase in unit value (price inflation) and a 0.2% increase in unit sales (volume)
 
European unit sales (volume) in Q1 2013 also increased +0.2% year-on-year, compared to -0.2% year-on-year during the previous quarter. The Q1 2013 increase followed three successive quarters of declining year-on-year sales volume.
 
Of the 21 European countries measured, Norway and Turkey experienced the largest increase in volume sales – Ireland and Hungary the largest decrease.