Retail recovers in May

Retail recovers in May

Retail sales in the eurozone recovered particularly well in May, when many countries eased lockdowns. Eurostat figures show this.


Better than expected

In the 19 countries making up the eurozone, retail sales rose 17.8% in May compared with the previous month. This is the strongest monthly increase since measurements began in 1999. Throughout the European Union (27 countries), retail sales increased by 16.4%.


Despite the recovery, sales in the Eurozone were still 5.1% lower than the same month last year. However, the damage is less severe than economists had predicted, writes Reuters. They assumed a year-on-year decline of 7.5%.


Not entirely unexpectedly, sales of clothing and shoes increased the most in May (+147%). This sector was by far the hardest hit by the compulsory store closures. On an annual basis, however, clothing and shoe stores were still selling 50% less. The e-commerce sector continued to grow by 7% in May. It is the only retail subsector that did not decline during the corona crisis.


In Belgium, retail sales grew by 20% in May, making the country one of the leaders in Europe. Switzerland (+30.7%), Luxembourg (+28.6%) and France (+25.6%) did even better. Growth in the Netherlands was 8.9%.