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)