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Euro Zone Retail Sales Record Surprise Fall On Weak Germany

Euro zone retail sales recorded an unexpected drop in September as Germany, the bloc's biggest economy, underperformed and non-food sales were also weak, data from Eurostat showed on Friday.

Retail sales, a proxy for consumer demand, in the 19 countries sharing the euro, fell 0.3% month-on-month in September and were up 2.5% from a year earlier, the European Union's statistics office said.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.3% monthly rise in retail sales and a 1.5% year-on-year increase.

Month-on-Month Miss

Part of the month-on-month miss, however, may be down to revisions as retail sales in August were now estimated to be up 1% compared with a 0.3% rise reported earlier.

With energy prices soaring, coronavirus infections rising and supply chain bottlenecks dragging on, consumers are expected to become even more cautious in the coming months, a trend already evident in PMI data that showed business growth slipping to a six-month low in October.

Household Purchasing Power

High petrol prices are also expected to curb household purchasing power, leaving families with less to spend on other goods.

Eurostat said car fuel sales rose 1% on the month while food, drinks and tobacco sales rose 0.7%.

But non food sales dropped by 1.5%, including a 1.4% decline in Internet and mail order sales.

Germany, the euro zone's biggest economy, recorded the largest, 2.5% drop in retail sales but Finland and the Netherlands were also deep in negative territory.

News by Reuters edited by Donna Ahern Checkout. For more Retail stories click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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