Eurozone retail sales below forecasts
June saw contrasting trends in retail sector performance across the single currency area, according to the latest Markit Eurozone Retail PMI . While there were slight increases in sales across both Germany and France, the overall picture was darkened by a sharp and accelerated reduction in sales in Italy.
The headline Markit Eurozone Retail PMI - which tracks month-on-month changes in like-for-like retail sales in the bloc's biggest three economies combined - registered 48.5 in June, down from May's 50.6. It was the index's third sub-50 reading - signalling a drop in sales - in the past four months. Sales were also down compared with the same month one year before, albeit only slightly.
Phil Smith, economist at Markit which compiles the Eurozone Retail PMI survey, said: "The biggest talking point will be Italy's sharp drop in sales, which contrasted with upturns across both France and Germany. Clearly consumer spending is on the wane in the eurozone's third-largest economy after recent tentative signs of recovery. But it was a brighter picture for retailers in France, where back-to-back increases in sales were recorded for the first time in two years and employment edged higher. Germany remained the best performer overall, although sales growth there eased from the solid pace seen in May."