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Eurozone retail sales drop in July as online spending slows

11:48, 3 September 2021

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Shoppers in Lyon, France
File photo of people shopping on a high street in Lyon, France. Source - Shutterstock.

Eurozone retail sales fell 2.3% in July against June, as consumers spent less in reopened shops and online, according to new data from Eurostat.

The European Union's statistics office said Friday that while retail sales in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell, the figure was still 3.1% higher than in July last year.

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade fell by 1.9% in the EU in July, compared with June - and the calendar adjusted volume of retail trade increased by 3.8%.

Online shopping sales

Eurostat said internet and mail order sales fell the most in the month of July in the euro-area - by 7.3%. 

Sales of non-food products fell 3.5%, automotive fuel dropped 1.6% - and sales of food were down 0.7% on the month, according to the latest Eurostat data.

Monthly comparison by member state

Among the member States, where data was available, the largest monthly decrease in total retail trade was registered in Ireland (-5.9%), followed by Germany (-5.1%) - and then Austria (-3.9%). 

The highest increase in retail sales was in Croatia (+2.5%), followed by Malta (+2.3%) and then Luxembourg (+2.2%), according to Eurostat.

Annual comparison by member state

In the euro-area in July this year, compared with July 2020, the volume of retail trade increased by 4.8% for non-food products, by 1.1% for food, drinks and tobacco and by 0.6% for automotive fuels.

In the EU, the volume of retail trade increased by 5.7% for non-food products, by 2.0% for automotive fuels and by 1.3% for food, drinks and tobacco.

Among member states, the highest annual increase in total retail trade was registered in Bulgaria (+20.2%), followed by Croatia (+12.9%) and then Lithuania (+12.4%). 

The biggest decrease was registered in Luxembourg (-5.6%), then Austria (-2.4%), Germany (-0.3%) and Spain (-0.1%), according to the latest data.

Market expectations

According to financial analysts at ING, the Eurostat figures had not been what analysts had expected. 

"Retail sales have been unusually volatile as economies reopened and that wild ride could continue for a few more months before settling into a smoother growth pace."

"Nevertheless, this can be seen as somewhat of a disappointing start to the quarter, which puts downside risk to our consumption growth expectations," ING said.

Geographical information

The euro-area includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

While, the European Union includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden.

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Read more: Eurozone service sector expansion slows in August

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