Eurozone retail sees zero growth and the EU's statisticians are calling that "stable"

Peter Spence
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Eurozone retail sales see zero growth and Eurostat are calling that "stable" (Source: Getty)

Eurozone retail has hit an unexpected roadblock in May.

Retail sales haven't seen the 0.2 per cent growth expected, and have instead been entirely motionless. There's been zero retail sales growth in the euro area this May.

The numbers, released by Eurostat, are a disappointment for economy watchers. Retail sales are up by just 0.7 per cent in May on the same month last year, well below the 1.2 per cent rise that had been forecast.

And how has Eurostat decided to frame the news? According to their statisticians, absolutely no growth in sales is best described "stable".

Morgan Stanley staffers had been expecting to see some really punchy numbers today. In a preview of today's release they saw retail growth at 0.9 per cent in May, reflecting recent strong regional data, as German retail sales and French consumption of manufactured goods have both outperformed expectations.

April's monthly growth number is also looking ugly as revisions to the data have seen that month's estimate knocked down from 0.4 per cent growth to a contraction of 0.2 per cent.

HSBC analysts had referred to April's sales growth as an upside surprise when that stronger first estimate was released last month. The first estimate had shown retail sales growing for a fourth consecutive month. Today's changes to the data paint a more depressing picture.

(Source: Eurostat)

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