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Economy in Brief

EMU Retail Sales Volumes Still Sinking in Q4 
by Robert Brusca January 8, 2008

EMU retail sales volumes fell by 0.5% In November and are off at a 4.2% annualized rate in Q4. The figures show the Euro Area as a region that is still unsupported by consumer activity. While German manufacturing seems to be still healthy (see today’s orders report) the consumer in Europe is floundering. Sales volumes are lower by 1% Yr/Yr and are falling at a 0.2% pace over six months. Over three months the annual rate of decline is 4.3%.

Nonfood sales are lagging the most down by 0.6% in the month compared to a -0.4% drop for food. Yr/Yr declines for the two categories of retail sales growth are similar, around -1%. Although the Manufacturing data for the Euro Area have softened they show more resilience. Still with the very strong euro and a very weak consumer it is difficult to be too upbeat on the Euro Area’s prospects.

Ezone (13) Retail Sales Volume
  Nov-07 Oct-07 Sep-07 3-Mo 6-Mo 12-Mo
Zone-13 Total -0.5% -0.7% 0.1% -4.3% -0.2% -1.0%
Food -0.4% -0.5% 0.2% -2.6% -1.0% -0.9%
Non Food -0.6% -0.8% 0.0% -5.3% 0.2% -1.1%
Textiles #N/A -2.9% 2.1% -5.0% -2.0% 2.5%
HH Goods #N/A -0.4% -1.3% -4.8% 0.1% -0.1%
Books news, etc #N/A 0.1% -0.5% -2.8% 1.1% 1.2%
Pharmaceuticals #N/A 0.3% 0.6% 4.5% 4.6% 4.2%
Other Non Spec #N/A #N/A 0.6% #N/A #N/A #N/A
Mail Order #N/A #N/A -0.1% #N/A #N/A #N/A
Non-food Country Detail: Volume
Germany #N/A -3.2% -0.1% #N/A #N/A #N/A
France -1.0% 0.4% 0.6% 2.6% 5.5% 5.6%
Italy (Total: Value) #N/A 0.6% -0.5% -0.3% -0.9% -0.9%
UK (EU) 0.4% 0.2% 0.3% 3.4% 6.3% 6.4%
Shaded areas calculated on a one-month lag due to lagging data
The EA 13 countries are Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia
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