Retail sales rose 5 percent in December 2015 from December 2014, preliminary data from the Central Statistics Office shows. The sales rose 4.5pc when adjusted for calendar year effects. György Vámos, the chief secretary of the National Commerce Association, said the growth in December and for all 2015 was significantly above the European Union average. Retail sales should also expand in 2016, although annual growth could slow to around 3-4 percent. Takarekbank analyst Gergely Suppan expects retail sales to rise 3.7 percent in 2016. The growth this year would be lower than 2015 because of base effects. Growth would still be dynamic, helped by growing real wages, an expansion in employment and the conversion of foreign-currency loans to forints, all boosting disposable incomes. Erste Bank analysts Vivien Barczel and Gergely Ürmössy said the retail sector had a good year in 2015. For 2016 they predict sales will be up 4-5pc on growing demand from households fueled by rising net real wages.