The eurozone retail trade volume dropped 1.6 percent in December last year, on a monthly basis, the EU statistical office announced on Tuesday.
“In December 2018 compared with November 2018, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade decreased by 1.6 percent in the euro area (EA19) and by 1.4 percent in the EU28,” Eurostat said in a statement.
The volume of retail trade in the euro area fell by 2.7 percent for nonfood products and by 0.3 percent for food, drinks and tobacco while automotive fuel rose by 0.5 percent in the same period.
“In the EU28, the retail trade volume fell by 2.6 percent non-food products and by 0.4 percent for foods, drinks and tobacco, while it increased by 0.7 percent for automotive fuel,” the statement read.
The largest decreases in the total retail trade volume were registered in Germany with 4.3 percent, followed by Sweden (2.5 percent) and Estonia (2 percent).
In December, only Austria, Portugal and Ireland saw increments, with 0.7 percent, 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
Eurostat said that the calendar adjusted retail sales index increased 0.8 percent in the euro area and 1.2 percent in the EU28 in December 2018 compared with the same month previous year.
The statistical office noted that the eurozone retail trade volume increased by 2.5 percent for automotive fuels, by 0.9 percent for food, drinks and tobacco, and by 0.5 percent for nonfood products, adding:
“In the EU28, the retail trade volume increased by 3.3 percent for automotive fuel, by 1.2 percent for non-food products, and by 0.6 percent for food, drinks and tobacco.”
On a yearly basis, the highest increases in the total retail trade volume were registered in Slovenia (11.2 percent), Ireland (7.5 percent) and Poland (4.9 percent).
“The largest decreases were observed in Germany (2.2 percent), Malta (1.9 percent) and Sweden (1.6 percent),” it noted.
The eurozone/euro area or EA19 represents member states that use the single currency — euro — while the EU28 includes all member countries of the bloc.