BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone retail sales rose in line with expectations in October as consumers spent more on non-food purchases, particularly online, data from Eurostat showed on Friday.
Retail sales, a proxy for consumer demand, in the 19 countries sharing the euro, gained 0.2% month-on-month in October and were up 1.4% from a year earlier, the European Union’s statistics office said.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected increases of respectively 0.2% and 1.2%.
With energy prices having soared and coronavirus infections rising, resulting in renewed restrictions, consumers are expected to become more cautious in the coming months.
Consumer sentiment declined for the second consecutive month in November, a survey by the European Commission showed on Monday, with households less upbeat about their intentions to make major purchases and about the general economic situation.
Eurostat said car fuel sales rose 1.3% in October while food, drinks and tobacco sales dipped 0.1%. Non-food sales increased by 0.4%, including a 3.2% rise in Internet and mail order sales.
Within the euro zone, Slovenia and Portugal recorded the steepest rises and Latvia, Austria and Estonia the greatest declines.
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(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop)