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.
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