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Eurozone Retail Sales Rise For Second Month

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Eurozone retail sales increased for the second straight month in September, suggesting that household spending has contributed positively to economic growth in the third quarter.

Elsewhere, survey results from IHS Markit showed that the euro area private sector expanded slightly more than initially estimated in October, but remained close to stagnation.

Retail turnover gained 0.1 percent month-on-month in September after rising by an upwardly revised 0.6 percent in August, Eurostat reported Wednesday.

Economists had forecast sales to remain flat following August's initially estimated 0.3 percent rise.

Food, drink and tobacco sales decreased 0.4 percent, while non-food product sales edged up 0.1 percent.

On a yearly basis, retail sales growth accelerated to 3.1 percent in September from 2.7 percent in the previous month. Sales were expected to grow 2.4 percent.

The IHS Markit survey showed that the euro area private sector growth in October was amongst the weakest seen in the past six-and-a-half years. There were also divergence between the manufacturing and service sectors.

The final composite output index rose to 50.6 in October from 50.1 in September. The score was above the flash estimate of 50.2.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index improved to 52.2 from 51.6 a month ago and exceeded the flash 51.8.

While the October PMI is consistent with quarterly GDP rising by 0.1 percent, the forward looking data points to a possible decline in economic output in the fourth quarter, Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said.

Germany remained the only country inside the contraction territory in October. The downturn in output remained centered on the manufacturing sector. The final composite output index came in at 48.9 versus 48.5 in September and the flash 48.6.

Meanwhile, France was the top-performing nation in October as manufacturers posted a return to growth in production and service providers reported faster rise in output.

September's Eurozone retail sales data suggest household consumption made a positive contribution to GDP growth in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the upward revision to October's composite PMI still leaves it pointing to slower GDP growth at the start of the fourth quarter.

According to the official estimate, the euro area expanded at a steady pace of 0.2 percent in the third quarter.

The International Monetary Fund forecast the single currency bloc to grow 1.2 percent this year before rebounding to 1.4 percent next year.

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