Eurozone Retail Sales Show Slight Increase

by Warren Seah

In a positive sign for the upcoming festive season, retail sales in the eurozone saw a slight increase in October. According to data from European Union statistics agency Eurostat, trade was 0.1% higher compared to the previous month. Although this fell just short of the 0.2% increase expected by economists, it marks the first time since June that sales haven’t decreased on a monthly basis.

However, when compared to the same period last year, sales remained 1.2% lower. Despite this, the rebound in retail suggests that easing price inflation is relieving some of the pressure on consumers within the 20-member currency union. Inflation, which peaked at over 10% last year, has been steadily decelerating and reached 2.4% in November, approaching the European Central Bank’s target.

The improvement in retail trade, particularly during the crucial holiday shopping season, would provide a much-needed boost to the struggling eurozone economy. Currently burdened by high interest rates and weak external demand, this positive trend is promising.

Notably, non-food goods, especially those purchased online, drove the growth in retail sales in October. On the other hand, sales of food, drinks, tobacco, and automotive fuels decreased during the same period.

Among the major economies in the eurozone, only Germany experienced an increase in retail sales with a rise of 1.1% in October. France and Spain reported lower sales on a monthly basis, while Italy did not provide data.

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