EUROPE: Retail Sales Decline Accelerates In October
Retail sales in October across Europe fell at a faster rate than in the previous month, hurt by declining demand for both food and non-food products.
For the month, sales in the 17-member euro area were down 1.2% when compared to September, while they fell by 1.1% in the wider 27-member EU bloc. This marked a significant widening from the 0.6% and 0.2% decline, respectively, reported in September. On a year-on-year basis, meanwhile, sales were down by 3.6% in the euro area and by 2.4% in the EU.
In October, sales of Food, drinks and tobacco were down by 0.8% in both zones when compared to the previous month, while sales of non-food were down 1.4% in the euro area and by 1.3% in the EU27. Sales were worst affected in Portugal (-4.5%), Finland (-3.0%) and Germany (-2.8%), with the highest increases being seen in Ireland (+1.9%), Lithuania (+0.8%) and Belgium (+0.7%).
Compared to October 2011, sales of Food, drinks and tobacco fell by 2.9% in the euro area and by 2.3% in the EU27, while non-food sales were down by 3.5% and 1.6%, respectively. The strongest declines on this basis were seen in Spain (-11.5%), Portugal and Slovenia (both -6.7%), with strong growth being recorded in Latvia (+9.2%), Luxembourg (+7.0%) and Estonia (+6.4%).