BRUSSELS, March 5 (UPI) -- Retail sales rose from December to January in Europe, the data office Eurostat said Tuesday.
In the 27-nation European Union, sales volume rose 0.9 percent while in the 17-nation eurozone, the countries that share the euro as currency, sales rose 1.2 percent, Eurostat said.
Compared to January 2012, retail sales dropped 0.9 percent in the EU and fell 1.3 percent in the eurozone, Eurostat said.
Among EU countries included in the report, Poland and Romania posted the highest month-to-month sales gain at 4.2 percent. In Belgium and Germany, sales rose 3.1 percent.
Denmark posted the steepest decline with sales off 2 percent. Sales fell 1.6 percent in Malta and 1.2 percent in Finland.
On an annual rate, however, sales were off furthest in Slovenia, down 7.6 percent and Bulgaria, off 5.5 percent. The sharpest annual gains were in Belgium, up 8.4 percent and Luxembourg, up 7.1 percent.
Data was either unavailable or withheld by the Czech Republic, Greece, Spain, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands and Slovakia, Eurostat said.