Euro zone sees slide in retail sales

| September 3, 2009 | 0 Comments
Euro zone sees slide in retail sales

A slight dip in retail sales has been reported in the euro zone for July said Eurostat, but a rise has been reported in economic activity, according to the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).

According to Eurostat, retail sales in July fell 0.2% compared with June, dragged down by lower sales of food and drinks. Meanwhile, retail sales fell 1.8% on an annual basis.

In the meantime, Germany, which is the euro zone’s largest economy and has just emerged from recession, reported a 0.7% rise in retail sales for the month of July.

However, on a positive note for the euro zone, the PMI rose to 50.4 in August - any figure above 50 represents growth and is the first time since May 2008 that the reading has been above the crucial 50 mark.

The PMI figures have raised hopes that the euro zone could emerge from recession in the third quarter.

The European Central Bank is due to announce its decision later today with regard to interest rates. Analysts are expecting the rate to remain unchanged at 1%.

In other news this week, it was reported that unemployment levels across the 16 countries that use the euro reached a 10-year high in July.

Official figures show that the number of people unemployed across the region reached just over 15 million people in July and puts the unemployment rate at 9.5% - the highest rate in over a decade.

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