BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone retail sales fell in May, bucking economists’ expectations of a slight increase, European Union data showed on Thursday.
The EU statistics office Eurostat said high-street sales in the 19 countries sharing the euro dropped 0.3% in May compared with April, below the average forecast of a 0.3% rise by a Reuters poll of economists.
Year-on-year, retail trade rose by 1.3% in the euro zone, slightly less than market expectations of a 1.6% rise.
The data showed the second straight month of negative figures in retail trade, with euro zone shoppers spending 0.5% less on food, drinks and tobacco on the month.
Car fuel purchases dropped by 1.3% in May, but was offset by a 2.3% percent growth in online shopping, confirming a positive trend for the sector.
(The story is refiled to changes day in lead to Thursday, headline sourcing.)
Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Foo Yun Chee and Toby Chopra