CHRISTMAS shoppers defied the Eurozone’s problems at the end of last year, driving retail sales growth close to an eight-year high.
The volume of retail sales in the currency bloc jumped by 2.8 per cent in December, compared to the same month a year earlier – the quickest year-on-year expansion since early 2007.
Compared to November, sales rose by 0.3 per cent according to the Eurostat office in Brussels.
Tumbling global oil prices were credited in part for the uplift in sales. “Cheap oil is delivering a boost to the Eurozone economy, and we are finally seeing the hard evidence for it,” said ING’s Teunis Brosens. “The strong retail sales quarter bodes well for Eurozone economic growth in the final three months of 2014.”
Spain’s economic recovery helped push up Eurozone sales. Spanish sales were 6.6 per cent higher than a year earlier.
The data includes the 18 states that made up the euro area in December. The bloc now includes 19 countries, after Lithuania joined on 1 January.