The euro area retail trade volume rose 4.4% in August on a monthly basis due to some relaxation in the COVID-19 measures, the EU’s statistical authority said on Monday.

The retail trade volume also improved by 3.8% in the EU in August versus July, Eurostat noted.

In July, the volume decreased 1.8% in the eurozone and 1.2% in the EU.

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 6.1% for non-food products, 2.4% for food-drinks-tobacco, and 2.1% for automotive fuels.

In the EU side, the volume of retail trade expanded 5.1% for non-food products, 2.2% for food-drinks-tobacco, and 2.1% for automotive fuels.

Retail trade via mail order and the Internet rose 12.4% in the eurozone and 10.5% in the EU in August versus July.

Demand for the online shopping platforms increased significantly during the pandemic period, when people chose or were forced to stay home.

“Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in the total retail trade volume were registered in Belgium (9.6%), France (6.2%) and Germany (3.1%),” Eurostat said.

Romania and Slovenia (both minus 1.6%) and Portugal (minus 1.4%) posted largest drops month-on-month in August.

Annual comparison 

“In August 2020, compared with August 2019, the calendar adjusted retail sales index increased by 3.7% in the euro area and by 3.5% in the EU,” Eurostat said.

On a yearly basis, the volume of retail trade was up 5.9% for non-food products, 3.2% for food-drinks-tobacco, and down 4.9% for fuels in the eurozone, while it rose 6% for non-food products, 2.6% for food-drinks-tobacco, and dropped 4.8% for fuels in the EU.

Belgium (12.9%), Ireland (9.8%), and the Netherlands (8.3%) posted largest annual rises while Bulgaria, Malta, and Slovenia saw the worst falls, minus 12.2%, minus 7.5%, and minus 6.6%, respectively.

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