The Bloomberg Euro-Zone Retail Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell from 47.5 in June to 47.3 in July. Dropping further below the no-change level of 50.0, the seasonally adjusted index points to a sharper rate of decline in like-for-like sales, which have fallen for fourteen successive months. The rate of contraction in July was also faster than the average during the second quarter, but has eased since the first quarter and the pace of last November, which set the survey record.
The Bloomberg Retail PMI is based on a mid-month survey of more than 1000 euro retail executives and is intended to provide data a month ahead of government-issued data.
Germany experienced an easing in the rate of decline with just a marginal drop in month-on-month sales. The index rose from 46.0 in June to 49.8, signaling the slowest rate of contraction since sales began to fall in June 2008.
France showed a faster rate of sales decline, with the index falling from 49.4 to 46.0, for a decline that was the fourth-largest recorded over the survey's five-and-half year history.
Italy saw its index fall from 47.0 to 45.6.
The continued monthly sales decline contributed to a sharper annual rate of contraction in July. The year-on-year sales index fell from 42.7 in June to 39.8 in July. The decrease is still less severe than trends seen in the fourth quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009.
The Sales Against Targets Index fell from June's 36.6 to 35.8 in July, marking a shortfall of actual sales against plans. The Expected Sales Index in July, a measure of retailer confidence, decreased from June's 49.8 to a six-month low of 44.7 in July.
The Prices Paid Index rose from a record low of 50.0 in June to 50.7 in July, but still registered the second-weakest rate of increase in the history of the survey.
Euro-zone retail employment was cut for the 16th successive month in July, and the Employment Index dropped from 48.1 in June to 47.4 in July.
Source: Bloomberg L.P.
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