March 5, 2019 / 10:07 AM / 3 months ago

Euro zone retail January sales stronger than expected

FILE PHOTO: People walk into the the Mall of Berlin shopping centre in Berlin, December 10, 2014. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone retail sales were stronger than expected in January, data showed on Tuesday, rebounding from a December slump thanks to a jump in sales through the internet as well as demand for computers, books and fuel.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said retail sales in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 1.3 percent month-on-month in January after a 1.4 percent drop in December.

They were 2.2 percent higher than in January 2018, accelerating from a 0.3 percent year-on-year rise in December.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 1.2 percent monthly increase and a 1.9 percent annual gain.

Retail sales are an indication of domestic demand, but they are often revised — the data for December was revised from he originally reported 1.6 percent monthly fall and a 0.8 percent year-on-year increase.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski

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