Significantly hit by COVID-19 containment measures, the eurozone retail trade volume plummeted 11.2% month-on-month in March, the EU’s statistical office announced Wednesday.

Eurostat noted the figure slipped 10.4% in the EU27 in March, compared to a month earlier.

In February, the retail trade volume was up 0.6% and 0.5% in the euro area and EU, respectively.

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 for non-food products narrowed the most, by 23.1%, followed by automotive fuels with 20.8%. But retail trade volume for food, drinks and tobacco rose 5.0% on a monthly basis in March.

Official data revealed that the retail trade volume in the EU27 dropped 21.3% for non-food products and 19.3% for automotive fuels, while food, drinks and tobacco increased 4.7%.

“Among Member States for which data are available, the largest drops in the total retail trade volume were registered in Bulgaria (minus 18.1%), France (minus 17.4%) and Luxembourg (minus 16.4%),” Eurostat said.

Ireland was the sole country posting a monthly rise (0.1%) in retail trade volume last month.

The coronavirus’s adverse impact was also reflected in the annual figures of both eurozone and EU.

The calendar adjusted retail sales index dropped 9.2% in the euro area and 8.2% in the EU last month, compared to March 2019.

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