Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Request a Demo

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-04-05/euro-area-retail-sales-decline-led-by-weakness-in-france

Bloomberg News

Euro-Area Retail Sales Decline, Led by Weakness in France

April 05, 2013

Euro-area retail sales fell in February as a decline in France offset gains in Germany and Spain.

Sales in the 17-nation currency bloc decreased 0.3 percent from January, when they rose a revised 0.9 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Economists had forecast a decline of 0.4 percent, according to the median of 20 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. From a year earlier, February sales fell 1.4 percent.

With Europe struggling to shake off the sovereign-debt crisis and pull out of a recession, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said yesterday that the ECB is “ready to act” if the economy deteriorates further. The euro-area services industry contracted the most in five months in March, data showed yesterday.

“Weak economic activity has extended into the early part of the year and a gradual recovery is projected for the second half,” Draghi told a press conference in Frankfurt yesterday after the central bank kept its key interest rate at a record low of 0.75 percent. The outlook “remains subject to downside risks (EUGNEMUQ:US), including even weaker-than-expected domestic demand,” he said.

The ECB last month cut its economic outlook and now projects a contraction of 0.5 percent in euro-area gross domestic product this year. That would mark the first back-to- back annual GDP declines since the euro’s debut in 1999.

Four-Month Low

The euro weakened to a four-month low against the U.S. dollar last week amid concerns about the international bailout for Cyprus. The European currency, which dropped as low as $1.2751 on March 27, the weakest since Nov. 21, was at $1.2922 at 10:40 a.m. in Brussels, down 0.1 percent on the day.

Retail sales in France, the second-biggest euro-area economy, dropped 2.2 percent in February from the prior month after a 0.2 percent gain in January, today’s report showed. Sales in Finland declined 0.8 percent after a 0.3 percent gain in the previous month.

In Germany, Europe’s largest economy, February sales rose 0.4 percent after a 3 percent jump in January, according to today’s data. Spain reported a 0.6 percent increase for the latest month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Henry in Brussels at phenry8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net


LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus