Auto Fuel Drop Drives Euro Zone Retail Sales Decline in July

James Hyerczyk
Updated: Sep 6, 2023, 14:23 GMT+00:00

Eurostat estimates reveal a 0.2% decline in the euro area's retail volume for July 2023, better than June but worse than forecast.

Euro Zone Retail Sales


  • Euro area retail volume drops 0.2% in July.
  • Automotive fuels suffer, non-food items grow.
  • Spain leads growth, Slovenia faces steep decline.

Euro Area Retail Trade Volume Decline

The July 2023 seasonally adjusted retail trade volume saw a decrease of 0.2% in the euro area and 0.3% in the EU, contrasting June 2023’s 0.2% uptick. This data stems from estimates by Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical office. Comparing July 2023 with the same month in 2022, retail sales fell 1.0% in the euro area and 1.2% in the entire EU.

Monthly Retail Sector Breakdown

In July 2023, the euro area’s automotive fuel retail volume declined by 1.2%. However, there was a rise of 0.4% in food, drinks, and tobacco, and a 0.5% growth for non-food products. Simultaneously, the EU experienced a 1.1% reduction for automotive fuels, but food, drinks, and tobacco grew by 0.2%, and non-food items witnessed a 0.6% increase. Denmark and Ireland led the Member States with the steepest monthly decreases at -2.3%. Meanwhile, Portugal (+1.1%), Sweden (+1.0%), and Cyprus (+0.8%) saw the most significant growth.

Yearly Retail Sector Analysis

Analyzing data from July 2023 against July 2022, the euro area experienced a 3.4% decrease in automotive fuel retail volume and a 2.2% dip for food, drinks, and tobacco. On the bright side, non-food products had a growth of 1.1%. For the broader EU, the volume of retail trade went down by 3.9% for automotive fuels and 2.4% for food and beverages, but non-food products improved by 0.7%. Slovenia suffered the most considerable yearly volume decrease, plummeting by 16.3%. Conversely, Spain led the growth charge with an impressive 8.6% increase.

Short-Term Forecast

Given the current landscape, the retail trade environment seems to be cautiously bearish. Mixed results across different sectors, combined with various performances among Member States, introduce potential volatility in the near term. Traders and stakeholders are advised to stay abreast of evolving trends and regional differences.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.