Retail recovers in May

Retail recovers in May
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Retail sales in the eurozone recovered particularly well in May, when many countries eased lockdowns. Eurostat figures show this.

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Better than expected

In the 19 countries making up the eurozone, retail sales rose 17.8% in May compared with the previous month. This is the strongest monthly increase since measurements began in 1999. Throughout the European Union (27 countries), retail sales increased by 16.4%.

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Despite the recovery, sales in the Eurozone were still 5.1% lower than the same month last year. However, the damage is less severe than economists had predicted, writes Reuters. They assumed a year-on-year decline of 7.5%.

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Not entirely unexpectedly, sales of clothing and shoes increased the most in May (+147%). This sector was by far the hardest hit by the compulsory store closures. On an annual basis, however, clothing and shoe stores were still selling 50% less. The e-commerce sector continued to grow by 7% in May. It is the only retail subsector that did not decline during the corona crisis.

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In Belgium, retail sales grew by 20% in May, making the country one of the leaders in Europe. Switzerland (+30.7%), Luxembourg (+28.6%) and France (+25.6%) did even better. Growth in the Netherlands was 8.9%.

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