Eurozone retail trade weaker than expected on lower food sales

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People walk past a store in the pedestrian zone in Munich, Germany, December 6, 2021. REUTERS/Lukas Barth/File Photo

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BRUSSELS, June 3 (Reuters) – Euro zone retail sales were much weaker than expected in April, data showed on Friday, driven mainly by reduced purchases of food, drink and tobacco.

The EU statistics office said retail sales volume in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell 1.3% month-on-month in April, up 3.9% year-on-year. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.3 month rise and a 5.4 year-on-year gain.

Retail sales had increased in the first three months of the year.

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Eurostat said sales of food, drink and tobacco products fell 2.6% on the month, while non-food products fell 0.7%, despite a 3.4% increase in sales online and by correspondence. Motor fuel sales increased by 1.9%.

The decline was particularly marked in Germany, the euro zone’s largest economy, where sales fell 5.4% during the month. Slovenia and Latvia were also weak, while sales in Spain, Luxembourg, Ireland and Malta increased.

Compared to the previous year, Slovenia and Malta recorded the largest increases and Finland, Luxembourg and Belgium the largest decreases.

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Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; edited by Philip Blenkinsop

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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