EU retail trade volume down in May

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GENEVA: The eurozone retail trade volume posted a 0.3% monthly fall in May, the EU’s statistical office announced Thursday. Eurostat noted that the figure also saw a 0.4% decrease in the EU28 over the same period. In the previous month, the retail trade volume decreased by 0.1% both in the euro area and the EU28.

The eurozone/euro area or EA19 represents member states that use the single currency euro while the EU28 includes all member countries of the bloc. In the euro area in May 2019, compared with April 2019, the volume of retail trade decreased by 1.3% for automotive fuel, by 0.5% for food, drinks and tobacco, and by 0.1% for non-food products, Eurostat said.

Official data revealed that the retail trade volume in the EU28 dropped 1.6% for automotive fuel, by 0.5% for food, drinks and tobacco, and by 0.3% for non-food products. Among member states for which data are available, the largest decreases in the total retail trade volume were registered in Croatia (down 4.4%), Lithuania (down 3.0%) and Sweden (down 2.8%).

The highest increases were observed in Portugal (up 1.5%), Spain (up 1.1%) and Belgium (up 1.0%), the statistical office said. Eurostat said the calendar adjusted retail sales index increased by 1.3% both in the eurozone and in the EU28 in May compared with the same month last year. On a yearly basis, the euro area retail trade volume rose by 2.2% for non-food products, remained unchanged for food, drinks and tobacco, and fell by 0.3% for automotive fuel.

In the EU28, the retail trade volume increased by 2.5% for non-food products, by 0.1% for food, drinks and tobacco, while automotive fuel decreased by 0.9%, it said. Eurostat also noted that the highest annual hike in the retail trade volume was seen in Luxembourg up 7.4% and the largest decline was recorded in Slovakia with a 2.6% fall.

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