Retail Trade Stabilizes in Euro Area in April 2023
- Retail trade volume unchanged in euro area, slight increase in EU.
- Calendar-adjusted index shows decline in retail sales compared to previous year.
- Varying performance across sectors and Member States.
According to the estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade in the euro area remained unchanged in April 2023 compared to the previous month. However, there was a slight increase of 0.1% in the EU during the same period. This comes after a decline of 0.4% in the euro area and 0.5% in the EU in March 2023.
When comparing April 2023 to the same month in the previous year, the calendar-adjusted retail sales index showed a decrease of 2.6% in the euro area and 2.9% in the EU. These figures indicate a decline in retail activity during this period.
Non-Food Products Rise, Food and Automotive Fuels Decline
Euro area retail: non-food products increased 0.5%, food, drinks, and tobacco decreased 0.5%, automotive fuels dropped 2.3%. EU retail: non-food products rose 0.6%, food, drinks, and tobacco declined 0.4%, automotive fuels fell 2.2%.
Winners and Losers Among Member States
Among the Member States with available data, Croatia, Luxembourg, and Sweden saw the highest monthly increases in total retail trade volume, with growth rates of 3.4%, 3.3%, and 3.1% respectively. Conversely, Slovakia, Romania, and Slovenia experienced the largest decreases, with declines of 5.8%, 3.7%, and 2.4% respectively.
Annual Retail Trade Declines Continue
Annual retail trade volume in the euro area decreased in April 2023 compared to April 2022. Food, drinks, and tobacco saw a decline of 4.4%, automotive fuels decreased by 1.8%, and non-food products declined by 1.1%. Similarly, in the EU, retail trade volume also declined. Food, drinks, and tobacco decreased by 4.6%, automotive fuels by 2.3%, and non-food products by 1.5%.
Winners and Losers in Annual Volume
Examining the Member States, Hungary, Estonia, and Slovakia witnessed the largest yearly decreases in total retail trade volume, with declines of 12.6%, 10.0%, and 9.8% respectively. On the other hand, Cyprus, Spain, and Luxembourg experienced the highest increases, with growth rates of 9.4%, 7.8%, and 6.0% respectively.
Euro Area Retail Stabilizes, EU Sees Modest Growth; Yearly Declines Evident
The retail trade volume in the euro area remained stable in April 2023, while the EU saw a modest increase. However, when compared to the previous year, both the euro area and the EU experienced a decline in retail activity. The performance varied across different sectors and Member States, with some witnessing growth and others facing significant decreases. It will be crucial to monitor these trends closely to understand the underlying factors impacting retail trade in the coming months.
The data suggests a mixed outlook for the retail sector. While some segments have shown signs of growth, others have experienced declines. It is important for traders and investors to closely analyze consumer trends and economic indicators to make informed decisions in the near future.