December 30, 2013
The Eurozone retail PMI (purchasing managers’ index) data for 2013 signalled an overall decline in sales for the fourth month running. The rate of decline remained modest but accelerated slightly, reflecting a sharper contraction in France and slower growth in Germany, while Italy Retail PMI hit a 33-month high.
The Markit Eurozone Retail PMI, which tracks month-on-month changes in the value of retail sales, fell back to 47.7 in December, from 48.0 in November. That matched October’s five-month low and indicated a moderate decline in sales. The average reading for the final quarter (47.8) was lower than in Q3 (49.5) but still the second-highest in over two years.
Commenting on the data, Trevor Balchin, senior economist at Markit and author of the Eurozone Retail PMI, said: “The retail downturn in the Eurozone continued in December. While the rate of decline in sales remains weaker than in the first half of the year, the trend over the final quarter suggests consumer spending may fall back.