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Eurozone retail sales dropped in April

The drop in sales indicates that retail sales remain on a stagnant trend for the moment in the eurozone. While most of the economy seems to be gearing up for some modest recovery, retail seems to be lagging behind the trend for now.

Analysts are not convinced that there will be many signs of improvement for eurozone retail sales before the second half of 2024. After a decent March, retail got another reality check in April with a decline in retail trade of 0.5% month-on-month, leaving the volume of trade only marginally above the February level.


Overall, the broad trend of stagnation that started in 2023 seems to be continuing for the time being, with no meaningful recovery expected this quarter. As a reminder, retail trade boomed straight after lockdowns but peaked in November 2021, and the eurozone is currently still about 4% below that peak in retail sales.

April's sales data still shows little reason to cheer, and recent retail surveys also reveal that a sales recovery is not yet imminent. Expectations about the months ahead remain downbeat and the volume of stocks continues to grow for now. The intention of placing orders is slightly improving, but at the same time, selling price expectations are still decreasing. Overall, experts think that it'll be the second half of 2024 before much improvement is seen here.

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