Euro-area retail sales unexpectedly increased for a fourth month in August as demand rebounded in Germany, Europe’s largest economy.
Sales in the 17-member euro area rose 0.1 percent from July, when they also gained a revised 0.1 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Economists had forecast a decline of 0.1 percent, according to the median of 17 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. From a year earlier, sales dropped 1.3 percent.
European households are tightening their belts as the region’s economy shows signs of a deepening slump. Euro-area unemployment held at a record 11.4 percent in August and economic confidence fell last month after the fiscal crisis and budget cuts forced at least five euro nations into recessions.
In Germany, retail sales rose 0.3 percent from July, when they fell 1 percent, today’s report showed. France reported a drop of 0.8 percent, while sales rose 2.1 percent in Spain.
The statistics office didn’t report data for Greece, Cyprus or Italy.