Euro-Zone Retail Sales Fall

Poor trend in final demand in Europe as well. Does not bode well for Christmas sales.

Retail sales in the 16 countries that use the euro fell for the second straight month in September, indicating that weak consumer spending continues to be a drag on the currency area’s economic recovery.

European Union statistics agency Eurostat said Friday sales volumes in the euro zone fell 0.2% from August, during which month they also fell 0.2%. Volumes were up 1.1% from September 2009, a slower annual rate of increase than the 1.3% recorded in August.

Eurostat’s estimates for August were revised up, since the agency previously calculated that sales fell 0.4% from July and rose 0.6% from August 2009. (…)

The weakness in retail sales was spread across the euro zone, affecting economies that have grown rapidly, such as Germany, just as much as in those countries where governments have introduced austerity programs in an effort to bring down their huge budget deficits.

German retail sales fell 2.3% from August, while retail sales in France were down 0.4%, sales in Spain were down 0.6%, sales in Ireland were down 1% and sales in Portugal were down 1.4%.

In the euro zone, sales of food, alcohol and tobacco products fell 0.1% from August, while sales of other items fell 0.3%. In the wider European Union, retail sales fell 0.1% from August and rose 1.3% from September 2009.

Full WSJ article

 

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