February 5, 2018 / 10:56 AM / 6 months ago

Euro zone retail sales ease month-on-month in December as fuel, clothes sales fall

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone retail sales eased in December, pulled down mainly by a lower volume of sold fuel and clothes, data from the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat showed on Monday.

A woman passes sale signs in a shop window in downtown Hamburg, Germany, January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

Eurostat said retail sales in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell 1.1 percent month-on-month in December against a 2.0 percent rise in November and against market expectations of a 1.0 percent decline.

In year-on-year terms, retail sales rose 1.9 percent, as expected, a sharp slowdown from a 3.9 percent yea-on-year rise in the previous month.

The monthly numbers were mainly affected by a 1.5 percent decline in the volume of sold automotive fuel and a 3.3 percent fall in the volume of sold clothes and shoes.

Year-on-year a 0.8 percent decline in sold fuel as well as a lower rise in the volume of sold food drinks and tobacco were behind the slow-down.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski

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