Retail trade in the European Union rose by 5.7 percent in June compared with the previous month, Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office said in a report published on August 5.
“In June 2020, a month marked by some relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures in many member states, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade increased by 5.7 percent in the euro area and by 5.2 percent in the EU, compared with May 2020,” Eurostat said. “In May 2020, the retail trade volume increased by 20.3 percent in the euro area and by 18.3 percent in the EU. This means that retail trade volumes in both zones have returned to the levels recorded in February 2020, before the start of containment measures.”
The highest yearly increases in the total retail trade volume were registered in Ireland (+10.2 percent), Estonia (+6.6) and Denmark (+6.5). The largest decreases were observed in Bulgaria (-18.1), Malta (-8.4) and Luxembourg (-7.7). In the EU overall, the rise was mainly driven by a 16.9 percent increase in automotive fuels, a 20.4 percent jump in clothing and footwear and a 12.1 percent increase in all non-food categories.
Among the Central European countries, the month-on-month rise in June was 3.3 percent in Poland, 3.7 percent in Hungary and 9.3 percent in Slovakia. The Czech Republic did not submit June data, but in the previous month retail sales there rose by 11.5 percent.
In Germany, Europe’s largest economy, retail volume was down 1.6 percent month-on-month in June after a 12.7 percent rise in May.
Title image: Women do their shopping at a jewelry shop in the Glyfada suburb, near Athens, on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. Greek authorities introduced tougher restrictions this week following an increase in coronavirus infections, most unrelated to tourism. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)