Euro zone retail sales stronger than expected in February

Euro zone retail sales, an indication of domestic demand, were stronger than expected in February, led by a jump in sales of non-food products, data showed today.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said retail sales in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 0.4% month-on-month for a 2.8% year-on-year gain.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.2% monthly increase and a 2.3% annual rise.

Eurostat said sales of clothes and shoes rebounded from a 0.6% slump in January to a 1.9% month-on-month rise in February and were 2% higher than a year earlier.

In year-on-year terms, sales over the internet showed the strongest gain, up 8.8% in February and accelerating from a 6.8% increase in January.

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