In October, European retail sales fell as consumers grappled with rising living costs.
Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, issued figures showing that retail commerce in the Eurozone fell by 1.8%, the greatest decline this year.
Food and tobacco sales (down 1.5%) and non-food items (down 2.1%) accounted for the majority of the fall. The only category that increased was vehicle gasoline sales, which increased by 0.3% in October.
Some nations were hurt harder than others: retail sales in Austria declined 4.6%, while Germany and France lost 2.8% and 2.7%, respectively. Sales increased in a few nations, including Luxembourg (up 2.6%) and Portugal (up 0.5%).
Melanie Debono, an economist with Pantheon Macroeconomics, told the Financial Times on Monday that things might get worse before they get better.
“With services expenditure, such as restaurant spending, expected to ease — as consumers forego outings to secure enough cash for energy payments — and consumer confidence remains low, we believe overall household spending will decline in the fourth quarter as well,” she added.
As previously said, consumer confidence has been hammered on both sides of the Atlantic. According to the November edition of our Consumer Inflation Sentiment Report, one-third of consumers are having difficulties paying their expenses, and half believe inflation has harmed their economic outlook.