Euro-Zone Retail Shows Continued Weakness in August
Sep 3, 2009
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The Bloomberg Euro-Zone Retail Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) registered indications of a modest month-on-month fall in like-for-like sales, falling to 47.1 in August from 47.3 in July. The PMI has remained below the no-change mark of 50.0 for 15 months.

Sideways movement was reported in the euro-zone index, masking differing trends in sales in the three largest euro countries. The disparity between best and worst performers was the largest it has been in six months.

Germany saw a gain in July and managed to hold into most of it in August with just a slight decline in sales. Germany's index rating in August was 49.5, down slightly from 49.8 in July, and giving the country the least decline in like-for-like sales three biggest euro-zone nations.

France's index rating was 47.3 in August, up from 46.0 in July.

Italy recorded the steepest month-on-month decline in sales, with the pace accelerating for the second month. The index dropped to 44.0 in August from 45.6 in July, with many retailers pointing to a link between depressed sales and pressure on disposable incomes.

The August Retail PMI survey also registered a further steep drop in sales from a year earlier. The year-on-year sales index recovered a little from 39.8 in July to reach 41.7 in August – still below the no-change mark of 50.0 and also below the long-term series average of 47.1.

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