Eurozone retail sales in January rise weaker than expected

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Shoppers walk near the luxury department store Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe), amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Berlin, Germany, December 14, 2020. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi

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BRUSSELS, March 4 (Reuters) – Eurozone retail sales rose less than expected in January, Eurostat data showed on Friday, driven by lower fuel sales and moderation in food and online spending, inflation exceeding 5% and holding back consumers. purchasing power.

The European Union’s statistics office, Eurostat, said retail sales in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 0.2% month-on-month for an increase of 7.8 % over one year.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a monthly rise of 1.3% and an annual gain of 9.1%.

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Food sales remained stable in January compared to December, while automotive fuel sales fell 1.3%, which dampened the overall monthly index.

Compared to January 2021, the value of gasoline sales was still 12.7% higher, but online sales were down 6.7% and food, beverage and tobacco sales were down 1 .7%.

As a proxy for consumer demand, sales data showed large differences between Eurozone countries. Sales in Slovenia jumped 32.3% year-on-year in January, while in Finland they fell 2.4%. In Belgium, sales increased by a tiny 0.3% over one year, while in its neighbor Germany, the largest economy in the euro zone, they jumped by 10.3%.

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Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; edited by Philip Blenkinsop

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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