Clothes, furniture boost euro zone retail sales in Sept

A customer pushes a shopping trolley on an escalator at the Bercy shopping centre in Charenton Le Pont, near Paris
A customer pushes a shopping trolley on an escalator at the Bercy shopping centre in Charenton Le Pont, near Paris, August 29, 2013. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

November 7, 2017

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A surge in sales of clothes, furniture and electrical goods boosted euro zone retail sales in September by more than expected despite a fall in motor fuel sales, pointing to rising domestic demand as the economy gathers pace.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said on Tuesday that retail sales in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 0.7 percent month-on-month for a 3.7 percent year-on-year jump.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a monthly rise of 0.6 percent and a 2.7 percent annual gain.

Eurostat also revised sharply upwards retail sales data for August to -0.1 percent month-on-month from -0.5 percent previously estimated and to a gain of 2.3 percent year-on-year from 1.2 percent.

Retail sales signal the strength of domestic demand — a vital component of the euro zone’s gross domestic product, which in the third quarter rose 0.6 percent quarter-on-quarter and 2.5 percent year-on-year, accelerating from 2.3 percent in the previous three months.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)