BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone retail sales fell in November on a monthly basis, after a surge in October, driven down mostly by a drop in purchases of non-food products, estimates released by Eurostat on Friday showed.
Retail sales in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell by 0.4 percent in November from October, the European Union's statistics office Eurostat said, confirming market expectations.
The monthly drop follows an upwardly revised rise by 1.4 percent in October, by far the largest in the year. In its previous estimates, released in December, Eurostat put the monthly increase in October at 1.1 percent.
Year-on-year, euro zone retail sales increased in November by 2.3 percent, after a 3.0 percent rise in October which Eurostat also revised upwardly from its previous estimates of a 2.4 percent increase.
The fall in the monthly reading was mostly due to a 0.9 percent drop in purchases of non-food products, a wide category that includes clothing, electrical goods, pharmaceutical products and e-commerce. Detailed data were not available.
Sales of food, drinks and tobacco were down 0.4 percent, after a two-month rise.
Car fuel sales went up by 1.0 percent in the month, the only component of the reading that recorded a rise.
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Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek