Eurozone retail sales bounced in May, figures for its three largest economies showed today, reversing a drop in April.
Germany set the pace, with a solid rise in France and a slower decline than previously in Italy.
The turnaround in retailers’ fortunes spurred increased job creation in the sector, with new employment at a 31-month high.
“Trends were lop-sided”
The data comes from IHS Markit, the financial information company, in its latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for eurozone retailing. Surveying purchasing managers in any number of industries has become a tried and tested way of taking the temperature in an industry or sector.
Each PMI report ranks the responses on a scale of one to 100. Should the final total be below 50, that signals contraction in that sector, whereas above 50 signals expansion. 50 itself marks a neutral position.
In May, the eurozone PMI for retailing stood at a three-month high of 51.7, just into expansionary territory. But IHS Markit economist Alex Gill said: “The positive trends were lopsided when looking at country data.
“The rise in monthly sales was driven by a sharp rise in Germany.”
Germany’s PMI reading was 55.5, a 13-month high while that for France was 50.7, a three-month peak. Italy recorded 47.3, its best performance in two months.