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Euro zone retail sales stronger than expected in February

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Euro zone retail sales stronger than expected in February
FILE PHOTO: People with shopping bags cross the street outside the Galeries Lafayette's department store during the holiday season in Paris, France, November 29, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau   -   Copyright  CHARLES PLATIAU(Reuters)
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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone retail sales, an indication of domestic demand, were stronger than expected in February, led by a jump in sales of non-food products, data showed on Wednesday.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said retail sales in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 0.4 percent month-on-month for a 2.8 percent year-on-year gain.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.2 percent monthly increase and a 2.3 percent annual rise.

Eurostat said sales of clothes and shoes rebounded from a 0.6 percent slump in January to a 1.9 percent month-on-month rise in February and were 2.0 percent higher than a year earlier.

In year-on-year terms, sales over the internet showed the strongest gain, up 8.8 percent in February and accelerating from a 6.8 percent increase in January.

(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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