Eurozone retail sales recovered unexpectedly in May on robust non-food sales, official data showed Wednesday.
Retail sales rose 0.6 percent month-on-month, partially offsetting the 1.4 percent decline in the previous month, the latest figures from Eurostat showed Wednesday. Economists had expected no change in the retail trade volume during the month.
Despite an increase, underlying performance remains weak. Even flat sales volume in June would result in a contraction of 0.9 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter, IHS Global Insight's economist Howard Archer said.
The prospects for consumer spending look troubling in the near term in the face of fragile consumer confidence, high unemployment and muted wage growth, Archer added. The only really good news for Eurozone consumers is that inflation is retreating gradually, he said.
Food product sales climbed 0.2 percent on the month after falling 0.3 percent in April. Likewise, non-food sales grew 1 percent, reversing a 1.7 percent fall in April.
At the same time, retail sales fell at a slower pace of 1.7 percent on a yearly comparison, after marking 3.4 percent decline in April. Economists were looking for a 1 percent drop.
In the EU27, retail sales volume gained 0.6 percent from April. Annually, the decline came in at 0.3 percent.
Among the member states, total retail trade increased in twelve and fell in nine. The highest increases were observed in Estonia, Latvia and Romania. Meanwhile, Malta showed the largest decrease of 7.3 percent, followed by Portugal with 5.1 percent fall.
by RTT Staff Writer
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