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Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- European retail sales declined in August as a worsening debt crisis and slowing economic growth prompted households from Germany to Ireland to cut spending.
Sales in the 17-nation euro region decreased 0.3 percent from July, when they rose 0.2 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That matched the median forecast of 22 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Sales dropped 1 percent from a year earlier after declining an annual 0.4 percent in July.
European retailers may struggle to maintain growth as governments from Italy to Ireland step up austerity measures to contain the region’s fiscal crisis. Services output contracted in September and households grew more pessimistic about the outlook. L’Oreal SA, the world’s largest cosmetics maker, on Aug. 30 reported weaker-than-expected earnings.
The euro was little changed against the dollar after the data, trading at $1.3325 at 10:03 a.m. in London, down 0.2 percent on the day.
In Germany, Europe’s largest economy, August retail sales dropped 2.9 percent from July, when they rose 0.3 percent, today’s report showed. Irish sales fell 0.4 percent in the latest month, while Austria reported a decline of 0.2 percent.
In Spain, France and Portugal, retail sales increased from the previous month. The statistics office didn’t provide August figures Greece.
--With assistance from Kristian Siedenburg in Budapest. Editors: Jones Hayden, Andrew Clapham
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