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Eurozone Retail Sales Decline 15th Straight Month!

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    August 31, 2012

    Once again there is grim data from Europe. The safe thing to do is expect grim data every time European data is reported. Except for an occasional outlier, you will not be too far off.

    Eurozone Retail Sales Decline 15th MonthMarkit Reports Eurozone retail downturn deepens in August
     Key points:
    • Revenue contraction extends to tenth month
    • German sales flat; sharper falls in France and Italy
    • Inflationary pressures build up

    Retail sales in the Eurozone continued to fall sharply on an annual basis in August. The rate of contraction accelerated to the fastest since May, and extended the current sequence of continuous decline to 15 months. This was despite a further year-on-year increase in Germany, and reflected substantial declines in both France and Italy.

    Employment Declines 5th Month

    Employment at retailers in the Eurozone declined for the fifth month running in August. The rate of job shedding remained modest, reflecting sustained workforce growth in the German retail sector. French retailers posted the steepest job cuts for over three years, while the rate of contraction in Italy eased since July.

    Prices Paid Rise

    The Prices Paid Index rose for the third month running from May’s 19-month low in August, signalling a strengthening rate of inflation of wholesale prices in the Eurozone. Sector data signalled that clothing & footwear and food & drink drove cost pressures in August.

    Gross Margins Drop

    Retailers’ gross margins continued to fall sharply in August. The rate of deterioration eased since July, but was still among the fastest registered to date. Reflecting the relative strength of demand, Italian retailers posted the steepest drop in margins, and German retailers the weakest.

    Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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    Images: Flickr (licence attribution)

    About The Author

    Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.  Visit Sitka Pacific’s Account Management Page to learn more about wealth management and capital preservation strategies of Sitka Pacific.

    You are currently viewing my global economics blog which typically has commentary every day of the week. I am also a contributing “professor” on Minyanville, a community site focused on economic and financial education.  Every Thursday I do a podcast on HoweStreet and on an ad hoc basis contribute to many other sites.

    When not writing about stocks or the economy I spend a great deal of time on photography and in the garden. I have over 80 magazine and book cover credits. Some of my Wisconsin and gardening images can be seen at MichaelShedlock.com.