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Retail

Euro Zone Retail Sales Inch Up In Oct, Ending Three-Month Decline

By Reuters
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Euro Zone Retail Sales Inch Up In Oct, Ending Three-Month Decline

Euro zone retail sales rose very slightly in October, broadly in line with expectations, after three consecutive months of decline, suggesting that consumer spending will provide at most a modest boost to economic growth.

The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said that retail sales in the 20 countries sharing the euro rose 0.1% month-on-month in October to a level 1.2% lower than a year earlier.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a monthly rise of 0.2% and a 1.1% year-on-year decline.

The monthly rise, after declines in July, August and September, was due to a 2.2% increase in mail order and internet sales, helping non-food sales rise by 0.8%.

Food, drink and tobacco sales were down 1.1%, while sales of automotive fuels were 0.8% lower.

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Year-on-year, food and fuel sales were markedly lower. Non-food goods sales were 0.1% higher.

The euro zone economy shrank by 0.1% in the three months to September, with initial surveys and data indicating the bloc will contract again this quarter.

Other Highlights

On a month-on-month basis, the highest monthly increases in the total retail trade volume were registered in Croatia (+3.1%), the Netherlands (+2.4%) and Slovakia (+1.9%), among member states for which data are available.

The largest decreases were observed in France (-1.0%), Belgium and Austria (both -0.8%), Spain and Portugal (both -0.4%).

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On an annual basis, the largest yearly decreases in the total retail trade volume were registered in Slovenia (-15.6%), Hungary (-6.5%) and Estonia (-5.5%), while highest increases were observed in Spain (+5.9%), Denmark (+4.2%), Bulgaria and Luxembourg (both +3.1%).

In September, euro zone retail sales fell roughly in line with expectations, highlighting weak consumer demand and the prospect of recession.

News by Reuters, additional reporting by ESM

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