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Eurozone retail sales miss forecasts

By Abigail Townsend

Date: Wednesday 06 Oct 2021

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - Eurozone retail sales missed expectations in August, after spending on food, drinks and tobacco fell across the bloc.
According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, the seasonally-adjusted volume of retail trade in August rose 0.3% month-on-month in both the Eurozone and across the wider EU. In July, sales fell by a downwardly-revised 2.6%.

August's figure was marginally below consensus, for a rise of 0.4%.

Year-on-year retail sales were flat in the Eurozone but ahead 1.1% across the EU.

Within the Eurozone, non-food products reported month-on-month growth of 1.8%. But sales of food, drinks and tobacco fell 1.7%, while automotive fuels fell 0.1%.

Year-on-year, the volume of retail trade increased by 1.3% for non-food products and by 1.2% for automotive fuels, but slid 1.9% for food, drinks and tobacco.

Within individual countries, Germany - the bloc's largest economy - saw retail sales rise, by 1.1%, but they fell in France and Spain, by 1.2% and 0.4% respectively.

Melanie Debono, senior Europe economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: "If Eurozone retail sales held steady in September, they would have increased by just 0.2% over the third quarter, much lower than the second quarter's 3.9% increase.

"But we still think household consumption growth accelerated in the third quarter, to around 4.5% quarter-on-quarter, from the second quarter's 3.7%. After all, retail sales account for less than half of total household spending, and other types of spending - such as on restaurants - will have rebounded strongly as restrictions were eased, consumer confidence improved, the labour market recovery continued and travel resumed."