29 October 2010 | Lindsay Clark
Retail sales in October fell at their fastest rate since May, according to a survey of buyers in the Eurozone.
The latest retail Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data from research firm Markit shows sales tumbled for the third consecutive month. The Eurozone Retail PMI fell to 48, the fastest rate of decline since May, and below the no-change mark of 50.
Sales expanded marginally in Germany, although the rate of growth was much less than in June and July.
“This improvement was offset by weakness in France, which retailers mainly attributed to social unrest and economic uncertainty after a strong summer,” Trevor Balchin, senior economist at Markit and report author said. “The Italian retail sector continued to contract, but the latest figures did at least signal the weakest monthly drop in sales in the current sequence.”
The figures also showed that while the stocks held by retailers were climbing, the value of goods purchased by them fell for the third consecutive month. This primarily reflected the build-up of unsold stock as sales demand worsened, the PMI report said.