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Eurozone Retail Sales Rise

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Eurozone Retail Sales Rise

Eurostat have just released updated Retail Sales Data for the Eurozone. The headline year on year Retail Sales figure for the 18 country bloc showed a rise of 2.4% during the month of April this compares to the 0.9% growth experienced in March, this was easily ahead of the market expectation for a 1.3% increase. Month on month Retail Sales data produced an April rise of 0.4%, this represents an increase on the prior month’s 0.3% growth and also beats market consensus estimates for a 0.1% increase.

Earlier this morning Markit Economics published several Retail Purchasing Manger Indices (PMI) for the month of May. France, Germany and Italy were all reported on. The French Retail PMI figure came in at 50.5 versus a previous reading of 50.3, the German figure was announced at 52.5 against a prior 53.1 and the Italian number was 45.2 compared to an April reading of 49.5. The aggregated Eurozone Retail PMI has been calculated as 49.9, a rise on the previous print of 51.2.

European Retail Sales have been mixed recently but are continuing to meander higher as it is evident that, despite other economic challenges, the consumer economy is alive and well within the Eurozone.

Further growth in the consumer sector is likely over the coming months as the European Central Bank (ECB) prepares to ease monetary policy later today. The Bank’s Governing Council is widely expected to cut the key refinance rate by up to 15 basis points at the culmination of it’s scheduled meeting this afternoon. The move is primarily aimed at addressing the low inflation situation within the Eurozone and if successful will have a conflicting effect on future retail sales growth. Lower interest rates will enable a rise in consumer spending, this however will be offset somewhat by an acceleration in the rate of price rises.

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