May 06, 2020
In March 2020, the COVID-19 containment measures widely introduced by Member States had a significant impact on retail trade, as the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade declined by 11.2% in the euro area and by 10.4% in the EU, compared with February 2020, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. However, in February 2020, the retail trade volume rose by 0.6% in the euro area while in EU, a 0.5% increase was observed.
In comparison to March 2019, March 2020’s calendar adjusted retail sales index fell by 9.2% in the euro area and by 8.2% in EU.
Monthly comparison by retail sector and by Member State
In comparison to February 2020, the volume of retail trade declined in the euro area in March 2020 by 23.1% for non-food products and by 20.8% for automotive fuels, while food, drinks and tobacco rose by 5.0%. In the EU, “the volume of retail trade decreased by 21.3% for non-food products and by 19.3% for automotive fuels, while food, drinks and tobacco increased by 4.7%,” as indicated by the Eurostat.
Notably, the highest decreases in the total retail trade volume were observed in Bulgaria (-18.1%), France (-17.4%) and Luxembourg (-16.4%). However, Ireland (+0.1%) experienced an increase.
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