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Economy in Brief

EMU Consumer Spending Tanks Along With Spending Plans
by Robert Brusca February 4, 2009

The chart at top shows the Yr/Yr trend in EMU consumer spending. It is working its way lower, lead by a declining trend in consumer spending plans. The Yr/Yr drops seem to have stopped to hover around the -2% pace, Yr/Yr. But the table shows that more recently downward momentum seems to have picked up. Over six months the sales volume is only lower at a 1.2% annual rate but over three-months that is down to a -4.4% pace. The drop in the pace of nonfood items has accelerated even more sharply over the recent 3-months as economic conditions have worsened. Despite some really poor consumer sentiment surveys spending in the UK is holding up. In Germany, though, conditions are poor.

Ezone (15) Retail Sales Volume
  Dec-08 Nov-08 Oct-08 3-Mo 6-MO 12-Mo
Zone-15 Total 0.0% -0.1% -1.0% -4.4% -1.2% -1.7%
Food 0.2% -0.1% -0.7% -2.2% 0.0% -1.1%
NonFood -0.4% -0.2% -1.1% -6.6% -2.2% -2.3%
  Textiles #N/A -0.5% -3.1% -4.3% -6.6% -2.1%
  Books news, etc #N/A -1.1% -1.1% -9.0% -5.0% -3.9%
  Pharma #N/A 0.2% -0.6% -1.6% 1.1% 0.6%
  Other NonSpec #N/A 0.3% 0.1% -0.6% -3.6% -2.0%
  Mail Order #N/A -0.1% -1.9% -4.3% -1.9% -0.6%
Country detail; Volume
Germany: VolxAuto -0.2% -0.1% -0.9% -4.6% 0.6% 0.2%
Italy (Total; Value) #N/A -0.2% -0.4% -1.5% -1.5% -1.3%
UK (EU): Vol 1.6% 0.3% -0.2% 6.7% 6.2% 3.9%
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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