The EU’s overall retail trade volumes returned to the levels recorded in February 2020, before the start of the containment measures, although the trend varies across product groups, according to the Eurostat on Wednesday.

“In June, the EU’s volume of retail trade increased by 5.2% compared with May 2020 and by 1.3% compared with the previous year,” the statistical authority said.

In the month, it noted, the sales of food, drinks and tobacco were similar to their February levels (1.3% below February 2020), whereas for some non-food product groups there was still a sizeable gap between now and before the COVID-19.

In particular, June sales of textiles, clothing and footwear accounted for only about three quarters of what was sold in February, it added.

“Although to a smaller extent, June sales of automotive fuels (-12.5%), computer equipment and books (-8.3%) as well as pharmaceutical and medical goods (-5.9%) also remained below their pre-pandemic levels,” it indicated.

In contrast, mail orders and internet volume increased by 17.4% compared to February.

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