Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

DEBATE

Clone of Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

  • UN backs inquiry of IS group’s alleged crimes in Iraq

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • US military targets Shabaab extremists in Somalia

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao set for Man Utd loan on transfer deadline day

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

Business

Retail sales drop stronger than expected

Latest update : 2009-04-07

Retail sales fell by 4 % in the 16 countries of the Eurozone on a 12-month basis according to official Eurostat figures. For February, they dropped 0.6 % when forecasts had predicted a 0.4 % fall.

AFP - Retail sales in the 16 eurozone nations fell unexpectedly sharply in February, dropping 0.6 percent from January as shoppers shunned Europe's high streets, official EU data showed on Monday.
  
Analysts had forecast a drop of 0.4 percent in the month and the outcome reflects how shaky consumer confidence is despite massive government efforts to dig their economies out of the worst global crisis since the 1930s.
  
Retail sales in the entire 27-nation European Union fell 1.2 percent in February compared with January, the EU's Eurostat data agency said.
  
On a 12-month basis, retail sales in the eurozone in February dropped 4.0 percent and in the EU were down 3.4 percent, the agency said.
  
"Worryingly, the prospects for consumer spending across the eurozone currently look pretty bleak," said Howard Archer, chief European economist at IHS Global Insight.
  
"While sharply lower inflation is boosting purchasing power, this is being increasingly outweighed by faster rising unemployment across the eurozone and elevated job insecurity.
  
"On top of this, tight credit conditions and elevated consumer concerns over the economic situation and personal finances bode ill for consumption," he said.
  
Jennifer McKeown, European economist at Capital Economics, said: "February's fall in eurozone retail sales confirms that spending is not benefitting from sharp falls in inflation."
  
"Given the rapid deterioration in labour market conditions, consumer spending will probably remain very weak in the near term at least, despite the relatively healthy state of household finances," she added.
  
One analyst said a 0.2 percent drop in sales in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, reflected the impact of the country's popular car trade-in scheme whereby the government pays motorists 2,500 euros (3,300 dollars) if they scrap an old car and buy a new one.
  
Late last month, a survey by the GfK institute found that a budding pick-up in German consumer spirits had stalled amid a steady stream of bad economic news.
  
The collapse of crucial German exports and domestic industrial activity, along with rising unemployment, has made Germans more pessimistic about their future, GfK said.
  
Retail sales in recession-hit Britain meanwhile slumped 1.9 percent in February from January, worse than economists had expected and in what one expert said was a message "that high street spending growth is back on a downward trend."
  
In the United States, retail sales slipped 0.1 percent in February although this was less than expected and inspired some hopes there for a recovery in consumer spending.
  
Plunging auto sales continued to be a main drag on the headline retail number under tight credit conditions that made financing big-ticket items difficult.

Date created : 2009-04-06

COMMENT(S)