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August 6, 2009

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Home » Business » Consumer

Euro zone retailers suffer in job crisis

RETAIL sales in the 16 nations that use the euro fell 0.2 percent in June from a month earlier, showing that consumers are wary of spending too much as unemployment hits a 10-year high.

Despite falling prices in June, when inflation shrank by 0.1 percent from a year ago, and higher consumer confidence, shoppers are reluctant to spend.

Unemployment rose to 9.4 percent the same month as companies cut back costs to match slowing demand for goods and services.

European Union statistical agency Eurostat yesterday changed its figure for retail sales in May, saying they fell 0.5 percent instead of the 0.4 percent reported last month.

Germany, Europe's largest economy, saw sales contract 1.8 percent from May to June.

Shoppers cut back spending both on daily "essentials" such as food, drink and tobacco - down 0.2 percent from May - and on non-food items such as clothing, electronics and medicines, also down 0.2 percent.

Euro zone retail sales slumped by 2.4 percent in June from the same month last year.

Across the entire 27-nation European Union, retail trade increased 0.1 percent from May to June. June retail sales in the EU fell 1.7 percent year on year.

British retailers reported selling 1.3 percent more in June than a month earlier, Eurostat said. Britain was one of only four EU states to show sales rising over the year, up 1.8 percent.

Poorer eastern European nations that have been badly affected by the recession saw dramatic sales slumps in June from last year.


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