Retail sales fell in August in the Eurozone, according to the latest retail PMI data from Markit. The seasonally adjusted Eurozone Retail PMI – which tracks monthly changes in the value of sales at retailers – declined to just below the no-change mark of 50.0. The latest figure of 49.7 indicated a marginal rate of decline, after July had seen the fastest growth since May 2008.
The overall fall in Eurozone retail sales mainly reflected a setback in the German retail sector, as sales rose further in France and declined at a weaker rate in Italy. Markit attributed the German monthly decline in part to a hangover from very favorable temporary conditions in July, such as the football World Cup. The broad underlying trend in Germany during 2010 so far, the research firm said, has been positive.
In the Eurozone’s second-largest economy, France, retail sales continued to rise in August. However, the monthly rate of growth eased to a modest pace as the survey again reported a cautious mood among consumers.
In Italy, sales continued to fall, but the rate of decline eased sharply to the slowest in the current seven-month sequence.
Although the headline figure declined in August, this was the first PMI decrease since February. Sales rose on a year-on-year basis for the second month in a row in August. Annual growth is seen in France and Germany, while the year-on-year decline in Italy eased sharply during the month.
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