Sales receipts in the 17-nation eurozone dropped 0.2 percent month-to-month after rising 0.1 percent in June. In the 27-member European Union, sales were unchanged after rising 0.2 percent in June.
Compared to July 2011, retail sales fell by 1.7 percent in the eurozone and 0.2 percent in the EU.
Sales of food, drinks and tobacco fell 0.9 percent in the eurozone June to July and fell by 0.6 percent in the EU month to month. Sales of non-food items rose by 0.9 percent in the eurozone and 0.7 percent in the EU month to month, the statistical office said.
From June to July, retail sales rose in 12 member states and fell in seven and remained unchanged in Denmark and Finland, the report said. In the other member states, data was not available.
The largest decreases were in Spain (off 1.9 percent), Malta and Austria (both off 1.7 percent) and Germany and Slovenia (both off 0.9 percent). The largest increases were in Latvia (up 2.7 percent), Ireland (up 1.7 percent) and Poland (up 1.6 percent).