In April 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 11.7% in the euro area and by 11.1% in the EU, compared with March 2020, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. However, in March 2020, the retail trade volume fell by 11.1% in the euro area while in the EU, a 10.1% decrease was observed.
In comparison to April 2019, April 2020’s calendar adjusted retail sales index fell by 19.6% in the euro area and by 18.0% in EU.
Monthly comparison by retail sector and by Member State
In comparison to March 2020, the volume of retail trade declined in the euro area in April 2020 by 27.7% for automotive fuels and by 17.0% for non-food products, while food, drinks and tobacco fell by 5.5%. In the EU, “the volume of retail trade decreased by 25.0% for automotive fuels, by 14.7% for non-food products and by 5.9% for food, drinks and tobacco,” as indicated by the Eurostat. Notably, the volume of retail trade by mail order and internet increased by 10.9% in the euro area and by 11.9% in the EU.
Notably, the highest decreases in the total retail trade volume were observed in Malta (-25.1%), Romania (-22.3%) and Ireland (-21.9%). However, Finland (+0.3%) experienced an increase while the volume in Sweden remained unchanged.
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