Retail trade and services in the EU hit hard by Covid
The pandemic has caught most people off guard and in an attempt to tackle the pandemic, EU member states have implemented various measures, including restrictions on non-essential travel, the Xinhua News Agency reported. .
Non-essential production has been halted and several countries have imposed regional and even national lockdowns that have further stifled economic activity.
Tourism has also been wiped out, forcing hotels to shut down and airlines to cancel flights, wreaking havoc in these industries.
According to a report released on September 3 by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, retail trade in the bloc in July 2021 fell 1.9% month-on-month, after a moderate increase of 1.4% in June against the backdrop of strong increases in February and March, retreating again in April and picking up in May.
Eurostat said the situation in the 19 eurozone members was worse: there the drop was 2.3%.
Bert Colijn, senior financial expert at ING Bank, said it was not what analysts expected and called it a “bad start to the third quarter of the year” for retail sales in the eurozone.
However, he was not put off by the prospects.
“The big question is whether the recovery can continue at a decent pace and quickly close the gap with pre-pandemic gross domestic product (GDP).
“It looks like consumers are expected to make a positive contribution to this over the next few quarters, as unemployment is falling rapidly and incomes are therefore increased.
“Consumer confidence has reached recent highs but remains historically high. All of this bodes well for retail sales growth in the coming quarters and thereafter for a reasonable pace of GDP growth,” he said. -he declares.
Services across the block have also been hit but are slowly picking up. The latest statistics showed that the total turnover of services in the EU in the second quarter of this year increased by 3.2 percent compared to the first quarter.
This relatively strong increase follows an increase of 1.5% in the first quarter of 2021 and of 2.1% in the last quarter of 2020.
In the first and second quarters of 2020, service industries revenue fell 3.6% and 17.4% respectively, before rebounding 10% in the third quarter.
In the second quarter of this year, the increase was strongest in accommodation and food services (28.4%), while the turnover of transportation and warehousing services increased by 4, 6%.
According to Eurostat, the effects of the Covid-19 crisis were more dramatic than those of the 2008 financial crisis.
The EU-wide hotel and restaurant services turnover index has been reduced by almost 80 points in six months.
The transport services index fell by more than a quarter, with the largest losses in air transport.