| 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: Jun 5, 2014 - 12:57 PM

Eurozone retail sales PMI was stagnant in May; Official data shows rise in April
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Jun 5, 2014 - 10:57 AM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

Eurozone retail sales were stagnant from the previous month in May, according to the latest PMI (purchasing managers' index) data from Markit. This stagnation at the aggregate level masked contrasting trends across the big-three Eurozone nations, however, with a solid drop in sales in Italy countering a notable rise in trade in Germany and a slight uptick in France. Meanwhile also Thursday, official estimates from Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Union, show that in the month of April 2014, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 0.4% in the Eurozone (EA18) and by 0.6% in the EU28. In March retail trade increased by 0.1% in both zones. In April 2014 compared with April 2013 the retail sales index increased by 2.4% in the Eurozone and by 3.4% in the EU28.

Monthly comparison by retail sector and by member country: The 0.4% increase in the volume of retail trade in the Eurozone in April 2014, compared with March 2014, is due to a rise of 0.4% for both “Food, drinks and tobacco” and automotive fuel, while the non-food sector fell by 0.1%. In the EU28, the 0.6% increase in retail trade is due to a rise of 1.2% for “Food, drinks and tobacco”, while the non-food sector remained unchanged and automotive fuel fell by 1.0%.

The highest increases in total retail trade were registered in Latvia (+2.5%), the United Kingdom (+2.1%),  Estonia, France and Slovenia (all +1.4%). The highest decreases were observed in Romania (-3.2%), Malta  (-2.6%), Germany and Portugal (both -0.9%). Ireland added (+1.1%).

Annual comparison by retail sector and by member country: The 2.4% increase in the volume of retail trade in the Eurozone in April 2014, compared with April 2013, is due to rises of 2.6% for the non-food sector, of 2.1% for “Food, drinks and tobacco” and of 1.4% for automotive fuel. In the EU28, the 3.4% increase in retail trade is due to rises of 4.0% for the non-food sector, of 3.2% for “Food, drinks and tobacco” and of 0.6% for automotive fuel.

The highest increases in total retail trade were observed in Latvia (+10.5%), Estonia (+9.3%), the United Kingdom (+8.4%) and Lithuania (+8.0%). The only decrease was registered in Portugal (-0.4%). Ireland rise was at (+6.7%).

The Markit Eurozone Retail PMI - - which tracks month-on-month changes in the value of retail sales - - registered at 49.9 in May, broadly in line with the 50.0 mark that separates expansion from contraction and below April’s three-year high of 51.2. When measured on a year-on-year basis, Eurozone retail sales were down to the greatest extent for three months, albeit only moderately.

Commenting on the data, Phil Smith, economist at Markit which compiles the Eurozone Retail PMI survey, said:  "Renewed weakness in Italy’s retail sector acted to offset higher sales in both Germany and, to a lesser extent, France. Incidentally, Italy was also the only nation where the survey showed a deterioration in business sentiment on the month. The weight of weak consumer spending in Italy and, to some degree, France is proving hard for Germany to carry, with the retail sector overall struggling to build any kind of momentum. The data thus far point to only a marginal gain in Eurozone consumer spending in Q2."

One area of real strength in the Eurozone retail sector remained Germany, where sales levels rose for the thirteenth straight month and at a solid pace (albeit one that was slightly slower than in April). France also recorded a higher level of trade although, as was the case in April, the rate of growth was only marginal. Undermining the gains seen in the big-two Eurozone economies was a solid and accelerated decrease in sales at Italian retailers, the most marked in three months.

The amount of spending by Eurozone retailers on items intended for resale fell slightly in May, reversing a marginal increase at the start of the quarter (the first since July 2011). Stocks continued to accumulate, however, growing for the sixth straight month partly as a consequence of sales being lower than targeted levels. The gap between actual sales and plans was indeed the widest since last October.

As well as trimming their spending, retailers also parted with more staff during May, extending the current sequence of decline in Eurozone retail employment to nine months. The rate of job shedding was little-changed from the modest pace recorded in the previous month. Only in Germany did retail staffing levels rise since April.

May’s survey meanwhile showed a further easing of the rate of wholesale price inflation faced by Eurozone retailers, to the slowest in more than four years. In spite of cost inflation having moderated, however, gross margins again fell sharply and to the greatest extent in four months.

Finally, Eurozone retailers generally remained optimistic about the outlook for sales* in May, with overall sentiment still slightly stronger than the survey’s long-run average despite having eased to a three-month low. Confidence ticked up slightly in both France and Germany, but weakened in Italy.

* Companies are asked whether they expect next month’s sales to be higher, lower or the same as plans.

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. The panel includes large chain retailers as well as smaller retailers to ensure balanced representation of the true structure of the Eurozone retail sector. Similarly, the composition of the panel by classification of retailer (i.e. type of good sold) is monitored to ensure accurate representation. Markit ensures the correct structure remains in place over time and that response rates remain sufficiently high to generate reliable economic data.

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