European Zone Retail Sales Fall In September! Is This A Bad Sign?


 European zone retail sales fell roughly in line with expectations in September, based on data released on Wednesday. This leads to indications of weak consumer demand and the prospect of a recession.

The European Union's statistics department, Eurostat, said retail sales in the 20 countries that share the euro currency fell 0.3% month-on-month and 2.9% year-on-year in September.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a decline of 0.2% on the month and 3.1% year-on-year. The monthly decline was mainly due to a large drop in sales of non-food products, including online sales, both down 1.9% from August. Automotive fuel sales were also down 0.9%.

Year-on-year, fuel sales have also declined sharply, as have online purchases.

The European zone's economy shrank by 0.1% in the three months to September, based on data released last week, and a purchasing managers' questionnaire showed that the fourth quarter started weakly.