BRUSSELS, Belgium - Retail sales in the eurozone dropped significantly in April. This is reported by the European Union’s statistical office Eurostat.
Compared to March 2012, sales fell by 1 percent, while in March, 0.3 percent growth was recorded compared to February. Economists expected on average a decline of only 0.1 percent in April. In comparison with April 2011 retailers sold money wise 2.5 percent less.
17 million unemployed in the euro area
The Eurostat figures clearly indicate that consumers are unable to boost the economy. Currently 17 million people are unemployed in the eurozone. In a number of countries wages are frozen.
Only on food, beverages and tobacco spending grew by 0.3 percent last April compared to March. However, in all other categories retail sales decreased by 1.4 percent.
Despite significant decreases in Belgium (minus 1.2 percent) and France (minus 1.5 percent) in April, the gap between northern European countries and the heavily indebted Southern European countries widened further. For example, sales fell by 2.4 percent in Spain and Portugal with 2.1 percent. Figures for Greece and Italy were not available. Germany was the only eurozone country in which sales rose, by 0.6 percent from March.
The first report on how the ongoing financial crisis is hampering the sale of (electric) bikes in the eurozone is coming in. In the Netherlands reliable sources indicate that the sale of new bikes dropped during the first five months of 2012 compared to the same periode of 2011. It is said that all major bike brands are suffering.
P&A sales not affected
Dutch retailers are doing OK in P&A sales as well as in their workshops. However, sales of new bicycles are lagging behind on their performance in 2011. But, last year The Netherlands and lots of other European countries had exceptionally fine spring weather. This year’s weather was on average during the first five months of the year. The Dutch retail trade is now hoping for a nice summer to spark their sales of new bikes.