Retail sales in the eurozone rose at their fastest level for two years, climbing 3.7% in September compared with 2016.
Sales in the EU as a whole, including those outside the euro area, rose by 3.5% over the previous year, beating analysts’ expectations.
The 3.7% increase in the euro area was due to rises of 5.1% for non-food products and 2.3% for food, drink and tobacco, according to estimates from Eurostat.
Ireland leads the way
Seasonally adjusted retail sales rose by 0.7% in the eurozone and by 0.3% in the EU28 compared with August 2017.
In August, the retail trade volume decreased by 0.1% in the euro area, while it rose by 0.5% in the EU28.
Among member states for which data is available, the highest increases in sales were in Ireland (+1.4%), Denmark and Luxembourg (both +1.3%) as well as France (+1.2%).
The biggest falls were in the UK (-2.2%), Croatia (-1.9%) and Lithuania (-1.0%).