Weak December for retail in euro area

Weak December for retail in euro area

Retail trade in the euro area has dropped 1.6 % in December compared to the month before. The Belgian drop was even higher, with - 1.9 %: it seems the holiday bonuses went straight into the bank accounts.

Unexpectedly harsh drop

The sales drop was much harsher than economists had expected, which was a ‘mere’ 0.7 % drop. The bad December figures are in line with the lower than expected numbers from November, when retail trade only grew 0.9 % in November, when a 1.4 % growth had been expected.

 

On a yearly basis, Germany suffered the biggest drop (- 2.4 %), before Belgium (- 1.9 %) and Finland (- 1.3 %). Luxembourg had the strongest surge (+ 9 %). There were no specific numbers available for the Dutch retail market.

 

Belgians hoard money

It is no surprise that retail trade dropped nearly 2 % in December compared to the year before: the Belgian National Bank had announced that Belgians had accumulated 249.8 billion euro in their bank accounts, nearly 3 billion euro higher than in November.

 

Holiday bonuses undoubtedly had something to do with that, as people put those aside for the future. November marked the first time since April 2012 that we had saved less (500 million euro less than in October) and when banks were drafting up the 2013 numbers, they noted that Belgians had started to put less money aside. Unfortunately for retail that was not the case for holiday bonuses - and every euro in the bank is a euro not spent in a store.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Hudson’s Bay suffers delay in Dutch remodeling operation

21/08/2017

Canadian department store chain Hudson’s Bay is lagging behind with its store renovations in the Netherlands. It wants to open ten stores this year, but the former V&D store locations are running into several remodeling issues.

Facebook launches its Marketplace in Europe

16/08/2017

In October 2016, Facebook launched a marketplace for used items in several countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States. That marketplace is now also coming to Belgium, the Netherlands and fifteen other European countries.

AS Adventure acquires German McTrek

14/08/2017

Belgian outdoor chain AS Adventure has acquired its German competitor McTrek. The acquisition opens up the largest European outdoor market for the Belgians, thanks to McTrek’s 39 stores and web shop.

American department store chains continue to struggle

11/08/2017

Several American department store chains continue to underperform. Both Macy’s and Kohl’s experienced turnover slumps compared to the previous year, even though they both managed to beat analysts’ expectations.

Amazon wants to compete with Ticketmaster

11/08/2017

Amazon is in talks with American event location owners to see whether it could sell tickets for their events on its web shop.

Record turnover for Henkel

10/08/2017

German Henkel has had a record second quarter, when turnover reached nearly 5.1 billion euro. For the first time ever, its six-month turnover surpassed the 10 billion euro milestone, thanks to its acquisition of laundry detergent company Sun.

Back to top