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Eurozone Retail Sales Fall Most Since 2011

Eurozone retail sales decreased at the fastest pace in over seven-and-a-half years in December, preliminary data from Eurostat showed on Tuesday.

Retail sales, excluding automobile trade, declined 1.6 percent from November, when they increased 0.8 percent, which was revised from 0.6 percent.

The latest fall, which was the first in three months. was in line with economists' expectations.

The December decline was the fastest since a 2.1 percent slump in May 2011.

The fall was driven by steep sales decline in clothing and footwear, electrical goods and furniture and mail orders and internet segments.

On a year-on-year basis, retail sales grew 0.8 percent in December after a 1.8 percent rise in November, revised from 1.1 percent. Economists had expected 0.5 percent gain.

For the full year 2018, retail sales rose an average 1.4 percent in the euro area.

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