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Economy in Brief

Retail Sales in The Euro Area Get a Lift From Price Increases
by Louise Curley October 5, 2009

There is a little good news in today's preliminary estimates of August retail trade for the Euro Area. The value of trade managed a small increase of 0.40% after three successive monthly declines. The volume of trade actually declined by 0.18%. It was only a rise in prices of 0.58% that accounted for the rise in the value of trade. The first chart shows indexes of the value, volume and prices of Euro Retail Trade. (We calculated the index of prices by dividing the index of value of trade by the index of volume and multiplying the result by 100.).These are preliminary estimates for the whole area because not all 16 countries have yet reported retail sales data.

France and Italy are important omissions.Eurostat estimates total sales after a significant number of countries have reported sales data. Data are revised as more countries report.Among those countries that have reported, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Slovenia, and Germany show declines in value; Finland showed no change and Slovakia and Spain showed small gains..The Producer Price Index was also released today and it, too, shows a small increase in August. While one month rise does not set a trend, it may be an indication that the deflationary impact of falling oil prices has run its course.

EURO AREA  (2005=100) Aug 09 Jul  09 Aug 08 M/M %  Y/Y %  2008 2007 2006
Value of Retail Trade 104.57 104.17 108.76 0.40 -3.83 108.7 106.2 103.5
Volume of Retail Trade 100.22 100.40 102.64 -0.18 -236 103.0 103.7 102.2
Retail Trade Price Index 104.36 103.76 105.96 0.58 -1.51 105.6 102.4 101.2
Producers Price Index 106.2 105.95 114.25 0.24 -7.05 111.8 106.6 104.2
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