The index rose to 46.8 with retail sales in Germany at the strongest rate in almost a year, research firm Markit economics said. The index indicates contraction with numbers less than 50.
Retail in Germany returned to growth and the rate of decline slowed in France and Italy, Markit said.
Germany's PMI for the retail sector came to 51.5, an 11-month high. The retail PMI in France rose to 45.3, a four-month high. In Italy, the PMI for retail rose to 42.1, an eight-month high.
Overall, retail in the regions that shares the euro as currency "remained in a sharp downturn in May," Markit said.