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Eurozone retail sales fall as Germany weighs heavily

By Abigail Townsend

Date: Thursday 05 Dec 2019

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - Retail sales across the eurozone fell in October, weighed down by a poor performance in Germany, as the crucial fourth quarter got off to a weak start.
Eurostat, the European Union's official statistics body, said that the volume of retail trade was down 0.6% in October compared to September, and by 0.4% in the wider bloc of 28 member states. In September, retail trade volume decreased by 0.2% in the eurozone and by 0.1% in the EU28.

Analysts had been expecting a month-on-month decline of 0.5% in October for the eurozone.

The year-on-year growth rate was 1.4%, compared to a revised growth rate of 2.7% in September.

Non-food products fell 1.1%, but food, drinks and tobacco rose 0.3% and automotive fuels by 0.6%.

Among individual member states, the biggest drags came from Germany and Ireland. Both reported a 1.9% decline in total retail trade volume in October.

Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: "Eurozone consumers had a slow start to the fourth quarter, primarily thanks to a crash in German retail sales. A slowdown in the eurozone's largest economy had been coming, giving the weakness of the headline surveys, but it is too soon to say anything about the fourth quarter as a whole.

"Black Friday sales almost surely provided a big boost to the November headline, and we'll hold off judgement until we see these numbers. That said, mean revisions - especially in Germany - will likely weigh on goods spending in the fourth quarter."