| Click for the Finfacts Ireland Portal Homepage |

Finfacts Business News Centre

 Irish Economy
 EU Economy
 US Economy
 UK Economy
 Global Economy
 Asia Economy


How to use our RSS feed

Follow Finfacts on Twitter

Web Finfacts

See Search Box lower down this column for searches of Finfacts news pages. Where there may be the odd special character missing from an older page, it's a problem that developed when Interactive Tools upgraded to a new content management system.


Finfacts is Ireland's leading business information site and you are in its business news section.


Finfacts Homepage

Irish Share Prices

Euribor Daily Rates

Irish Economy

Global Income Per Capita

Global Cost of Living

Irish Tax - Income/Corporate

Global News

Bloomberg News

CNN Money

Cnet Tech News


Irish Independent

Irish Times

Irish Examiner

New York Times

Financial Times

Technology News




Content Management by interactivetools.com.

News : EU Economy Last Updated: May 31, 2011 - 6:12 AM

Eurozone retail sales fell in May
By Finfacts Team
May 30, 2011 - 9:11 AM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

Retail sales in the Eurozone fell for the first time in three months in May, according to Markit’s latest PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) survey. Moreover, sales were only marginally higher than one year earlier, and retailers cut both staff levels and purchasing during the month. Of the three largest euro economies covered, Italy remained the main source of weakness, while France and Germany both registered slower growth.

The Eurozone Retail PMI is a single-figure indicator of changes in the value of sales at retailers. The PMI is adjusted for seasonal factors, and any figure greater than 50.0 signals growth compared with one month earlier. The PMI slipped from 52.2 in April to 48.8 in May. That was the lowest figure since October 2010, and also below the long-run survey average (since January 2004) of 49.1. The latest PMI figure was consistent with a broadly flat trend in official retail sales (on a three-month on three-month basis) as produced by the EU’s statistics office Eurostat.

Eurozone retail PMI figures are based on responses from the three largest euro area economies. May data signalled a persistent performance gap between Germany and France, and Italy. In the latter, monthly sales fell at the steepest pace for nearly a year, while the two largest Eurozone economies continued to record growth of retail sales.

That said, the month-on-month increases in sales in Germany and France were the weakest for seven and three months respectively. The retail PMIs have placed Italy as the worst-performing of the three countries thirteen times in the past fifteen months.

Across the Eurozone as a whole, retail sales were up only slightly on a year earlier in May. This was in contrast to the trend seen in April, when retail sales grew at the fastest annual pace in nearly three years (although this partly reflected the timing of Easter in 2011 compared to 2010).

In line with the pattern for month-on-month sales trends, Germany and France registered slower annual growth of retail sales in May while Italy posted a steep fall.

In a further sign that the retail sector was contracting, the value of goods purchased by retailers fell during the month. This was the first drop in purchasing activity for seven months.

Moreover, it occurred despite a further sharp rise in average wholesale prices, suggesting a steep fall in the volume of new items bought for resale. Purchase price inflation eased slightly since April, but remained relatively sharp.

Reflecting intense cost pressures and declining sales values, retailers suffered the worst drop in gross margins for a year in May. This contributed to a decline in headcounts in the sector, the first since last November.

Commenting on the retail PMI data, Trevor Balchin, senior economist at Markit and author of the Eurozone Retail PMI, said: "May PMI data signalled a downturn in the Eurozone retail sector, as support from the key German and French economies faltered and Italy continued to record a sharp drop in sales. Moreover, year-on-year sales were only slightly higher in May, confirming that the later Easter this year compared with 2010 had flattered annual growth in April. Data for the first two months of Q2 suggest a steep slowdown in growth of consumer spending in the single currency area.

"Retailers are also not seeing a lifting of pressure on their cost burdens, unlike firms in other sectors. Wholesale price inflation did not ease appreciably from April’s thirty-three month high, while across manufacturing and services the rate of input price inflation slowed sharply during the month, according to the latest flash PMI data. As a result of elevated cost pressures and falling sales, retailers’ gross margins deteriorated to the greatest extent for a year."

For the Retail PMI Markit has recruited a representative panel of retail companies in France, Germany and Italy. Together, these three countries account for approximately 62% of total Eurozone retail sales by value.

Related Articles
Related Articles

© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

Top of Page

EU Economy
Latest Headlines
Spain's strong recovery to slow in the next few years
Italy's Mezzogiorno is Achilles' heel of Euro Area - lowest birth rate since 1862
Euro Area GDP grows at weak 0.3% in Q2 2015
German GDP up 0.4% in Q2 2015; France's GDP stagnates
Germany's Surplus: Lots of critics; Credible solutions scarce
Euro Area industrial production dips in June and May after a flat April
Greece faces two years of recession according to EU officials
High EU youth unemployment rate not as bad as it seems
Eurozone retail PMI surges to highest since January 2011
ECB monetary policy still tight for Southern Europe
German exports fell in June — surplus at record; Exports up 13.7% year-on-year
Eurozone manufacturing sector continued to expand in July
Weak euro unlikely to have significant impact on Euro Area growth
Is Euro Area Ireland's top trading partner?: EU28 is overwhelmingly UK's
German car firms boost exports from Spain, UK, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania
Flash Eurozone manufacturing/ services PMI close to four-year high despite Greek crisis
Krugman calls euro a Roach Motel; Hotel California gets 1-star grade
Greece & Euro Crisis: July 2015 articles from Finfacts
Greece and other poor countries in Euro Area will not become rich
Euro Area manufacturing/ services PMI hits four-year high in June
Western European car market: Recovery continues
Greece could become a failed state like Venezuela
Multinational companies pay on average 30% less tax than domestic competitors in EU
EU's list of 30 tax havens omits the biggest 4 in Europe
China to invest in Juncker's European investment fund
Greek talks collapse; Game theorists gambling with future — Germany's vice-chancellor
German exports and industrial production in strong rises in April
Tackling Inequality: Scandinavian countries have the most successful welfare systems in Europe
Eurozone unemployment fell by 130,000 in April 2015 — down 849,000 in 12 months
Eurozone service sector business activity slowed during May
German 2015 GDP forecast cut; Jobless level at 24-year low
Eurozone manufacturing in modest acceleration in May
FDI into Europe at record in 2014; UK on top: Germany location for future investment
Eurozone economy loses growth momentum; Jobs growth rises
Athens leak suggests Juncker has plan for Greece
Draghi will not end QE early but warns of risks
Eurozone grows faster than US and UK in Q1 2015
German GDP at slower pace, France faster in Q1 2015
Germany may cut income tax; Germans still shun risky investments
Germany had record exports and imports in March 2015