Euro zone retail sales fall as expected in August

Euro zone retail sales fall as expected in August
Euro zone retail sales fall as expected in August Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
By Reuters
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BRUSSELS – Euro zone retail sales fell in August, data showed on Thursday, pointing to a weakness in consumer demand and underlining expectations of an approaching recession.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said retail sales in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell 0.3% month-on-month for a 2.0% year-on-year drop.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.4% monthly fall and a 1.7% year-on-year decline.

The fall in retail sales, seen as a proxy for consumer demand, underlines economists’ expectations that the euro zone is likely to go in to a recession in the coming quarters, hit by the energy price shock created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine1.

The sales decline in August came despite a sharp rise in the volume of sales of car fuels during the holiday season, which rose 3.2% month-on-month and 5.1% year-on-year, but failed to offset falling sales of food and drinks and internet or mail order shopping.

Non-food retail sales overall did rise by 0.2% in August, although that was down 3.0% from a year earlier.

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