BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone retail trade fell in line with expectations in July as sales of clothing in particular dropped during the month, providing a negative sign from consumers at the start of the third quarter.
Retail sales in the 19-country euro zone declined by 0.6% in July, the EU’s statistics agency Eurostat said on Wednesday, in line with the average forecast of economists polled by Reuters and following a 1.2% increase in June.
Trade fell by 3.2% during the month for textiles, clothing and footwear. Indeed, sales of most components, including food, electrical goods, furniture, medicines and online orders, declined.
Germany and Belgium registered the sharpest falls.
However, compared with a year earlier sales were up 2.2%, with online sales the strongest component, as in previous months. Sales of all other goods groups also rose. Economists had on average expected a 2.0% year-on-year increase.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop)