Eurozone Retail Sales Recover In September

Euro area retail sales recovered in September despite the record inflation dampening the spending power and consumer confidence, data published by the statistical office Eurostat showed Tuesday.

Retail sales rose 0.4 percent from August, when they stagnated, which was revised from a 0.3 percent fall. The increase was in line with economists’ expectations.

The small rise in retail sales in September is unlikely to be a turning point for consumption, ING economist Bert Colijn said. The economist expects consumption to contract in the current and coming quarter, followed by a very modest recovery.

Data showed that sales of food, drinks and tobacco grew 0.4 percent following a 0.7 percent slump in the previous month. Non-food product sales, excluding those of automotive fuel, rose 1.0 percent after a 0.2 percent gain in the previous month.

Mail orders and internet sales rebounded with growth of 2.6 percent after a 4.1 percent fall in August. Meanwhile, automotive fuel sales decreased 0.6 percent after a 2.1 percent rise in the previous month.

Compared to the same month last year, Eurozone retail sales decreased for a fourth straight month in September.

Retail sales shrunk 0.6 percent after a 1.4 percent decline in August, which was revised from a 2.0 percent drop. Economists had forecast a 1.3 percent fall.

In the euro area, rising inflation is eating into consumer spending power. Inflation advanced to a historic high of 10.7 percent in October largely due the 41.9 percent surge in energy prices.

Despite fears of recession, the European Central Bank had raised its benchmark rates by 75 basis points for the second straight time in October as inflation remained at elevated level.

The euro area economy expanded only 0.2 percent in the third quarter after posting 0.8 percent growth a quarter ago. The bloc is widely expected to enter a recession amid energy crisis.

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