The EU retail trade volume rose 1.4% in December on a monthly basis, the EU’s statistical authority said on Thursday.

The retail trade volume also improved 2% in the euro zone in December versus November, Eurostat noted.

The eurozone/euro area or EA19 represents member states that use the single currency — euro — while the EU27 includes all member countries of the bloc.

The volume of retail trade was up 4% for automotive fuels, 1.7% for food, drinks and tobacco, and 0.7% for non-food products in December.

In the euro zone side, the volume of retail trade expanded 5.1% for automotive fuels, 1.9% for food, drinks and tobacco, and 1.5% for non-food products.

“Among member states for which data are available, the highest increases in the total retail trade volume were observed in France (22.3%), Belgium (15.9%) and Ireland (11.4%),” Eurostat said.

The largest decreases were seen in the Netherlands (10.9%), Germany (9.6%) and Denmark (8.0%) in December.

On the other hand, the annual average retail trade fell 1.2% in the euro area and 0.8% in the EU in 2020 compared with 2019.

Annual comparison

“In December 2020 compared with December 2019, the calendar adjusted volume of retail trade increased by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.5% in the EU,” it noted.

On a yearly basis, the volume of retail trade was up 5.9% for food, drinks and tobacco, while it was down 14.1% for automotive fuels, and 0.8% for non-food products in the eurozone.

In the EU, the retail trade volume increased 5% for food, drinks and tobacco, while it decreased 12.9% for automotive fuels and 0.6% for non-food products.

Ireland (11.1%), France (9.1%) and Estonia (5.9%) posted the highest annual rises, while the largest decreases were observed in Slovenia (13.3%), Bulgaria (12%) and the Netherlands (5.7%).

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