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Euro zone retail trade weaker than expected in Aug as food sales fall

Euro zone retail trade weaker than expected in Aug as food sales fall
Euro zone retail trade weaker than expected in Aug as food sales fall   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
By Reuters

BRUSSELS – Euro zone retail sales were weaker than expected in August, data showed on Wednesday, as consumers reined in spending on food, drinks and tobacco.

Retail sales, a proxy for consumer demand, in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 0.3% month-on-month in August and were unchanged from a year earlier, the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.8% monthly gain and a 0.4% year-on-year increase.

Eurostat said food, drinks and tobacco sales fell 1.7% month-on-month and by 1.9% year-on-year, holding back the overall index even though sales via mail order and internet shot up.

Such sales, which have been strong since the start of the pandemic, rose 9.0% from July after two months of declines and were up 8.5% from a year earlier.