Retail in Europe slipped in December

Feb. 5, 2014 at 10:47 AM

BRUSSELS, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Retail sales slipped in Europe in the last month of 2013 compared to November, the European Commission's data office Eurostat said Wednesday.

The volume of retail trade declined by 1.6 percent in the eurozone and 0.8 percent in the 28-member European Union in December, Eurostat said.

Retail dropped for three out of four months to end the year in Europe, rising from the previous month only in November.

For the year, retail trade in 2013 fell by 0.9 percent in the eurozone and 0.2 percent in the EU compared to 2012.

Retail volume also dropped in December compared to the previous December, sliding 1.6 percent in the eurozone and 1.2 percent in the EU.

Retail dropped in 16 of the 22 states that reported results. The largest declines were in Portugal, down 5.8 percent from November, Spain, down 3.6 percent and Germany, down 2.5 percent.

The largest month-to-month gains were in Britain with an increase of 2.6 percent from November, Malta with a 2 percent gain and Ireland, where retail volumes rose 1.4 percent November to December.

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