Eurozone retail sales decreased by 2.7% in december, the biggest decline since April of 2021
Retail sales in the euro area experienced a new decline in December, a sign that the purchasing power of consumers is decreasing amid concerns about the economic evolution and the increase in interest rates.
The seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade decreased by 2.7% in the euro area, the biggest decline since April of 2021, and by 2.6% in the EU, compared with November 2022, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
The volume of retail trade decreased by 2.9% for food, drinks and tobacco and by 2.8% for non-food products, while it grew by 2.3% for automotive fuels.
As a proxy for consumer demand and economic health, their fall in the last month of the year shows signs of weakness and uncertainty among euro zone consumers who have already been facing high energy prices for over a year.
Among Member States for which data are available, the largest monthly decreases in the total retail trade volume were registered in the Netherlands (-6.3%), Germany (-5.3%) and Luxembourg (-3.8%) while the highest increases were observed in Slovakia (+2.3%), Austria (+1.6%) and Romania (+1.3%).