The volume of retail sales in February fell 0.1% in the euro area and by 0.4% across the European Union (EU) from the previous month, according to figures released today by Eurostat, the office Community statistics.
In January, retail trade had experienced an increase of 1.1% in the euro area and 0.9% in the EU.
Compared with February 2011, the retail sales index backed off 2.1% in the euro area and 1.1% in the entire Union.
In Spain, the volume of retail sales grew 0.7% in February from the previous month, but fell by 6.2% compared with the same month last year.
Among Member States for which data are available, total retail trade fell in ten countries and rose in eleven in February from January.
Falls scored most important Slovenia (-5%), Poland (-2.7%) and Romania (-2.5%), while the main increases were recorded in Malta (4.7%), Luxembourg ( 2.2%) and Denmark (1.9%).
In annual terms, according to available data, retail sales in February fell in eight Member States and rose in thirteen.
Portugal (-9.6%), Bulgaria (-6.4%) and Spain (-6.2%) led decliners, while Estonia (14.8%), Latvia (10%) and Denmark (8, 1%) led the gains.
By sector, food, beverages and snuff rose in February from the previous month by 0.6% in the euro area and 0.4% in the EU, while the non-food remained stable in the countries of the currency and fell only 0.3% in all member countries.
Compared with February 2011, the field of food, drink and snuff fell 1% in the eurozone and 0.3% in the whole EU, while the non-food decreased by 1.6% and 0.2% respectively.