zone retail sales increased slightly in January, according to figures from the EU.
Retail sales in countries that use the Euro increased by 0.3 per cent in January while there was a 0.7 per cent increase across all 27 EU nations.
The biggest improvements were in Latvia, Slovenia and Romania.
But another set of figures, Markit's Eurozone Composite PMI, which gauges private sector activity across the continent's entire economy, slipped to 49.3 in February, below January's reading of 50.4.
A reading below 50 denotes contraction, meaning Europe's private sector economy has been stuck in a modest decline for five of the last six months.
"Today's PMI surveys don't bode well for the euro zone economy as a whole as a mild recession is well in the cards," said Annalisa Piazza at Newedge.