European Retail Sales Drop by Record on Rising Costs

Discussion in 'Economics' started by ASusilovic, May 7, 2008.

  1. European retail sales dropped 1.6 percent in March, the most since at least 1995 and twice as much as economists forecast, as soaring fuel and food costs sapped consumer spending.

    The drop in euro-area retail sales from the year-earlier month is the largest since the data series began more than a decade ago, the European Union's statistics office in Luxembourg said today. From the prior month, sales declined 0.4 percent. Economists had forecast a 0.7 percent annual decline and a gain of 0.4 percent from the prior month, according to Bloomberg News surveys.

    A doubling of crude-oil prices in the past 12 months and soaring prices for food such as wheat and rice have undermined consumer sentiment across the 15 nations that use the euro. The European Central Bank, which meets tomorrow to decide on interest rates, has refused to follow its counterparts in the U.S. and the U.K. in lowering borrowing costs after inflation surged since August, reaching a 16-year high of 3.6 percent in March.

    ``This is pretty grim,'' said Ken Wattret, senior economist at BNP Paribas in London. ``The big picture has been very weak for some time and up until this point the ECB has been in denial. They keep on cheerleading the improvement in consumption, but it simply hasn't happened.''

    The euro extended losses following the retail-sales report and traded down 0.6 percent at $1.5432 at 12:40 p.m. Brussels time.
  2. A day earlier:

    'Other ECB policy makers including Axel Weber, Juergen Stark and Yves Mersch have suggested the bank's key rate of 4 percent may not be high enough to rein in inflation, which accelerated to a 16-year high of 3.6 percent in March.'

  3. ROFLOMA !!!! :D :) :p
  4. they were all shopaholicing in the States