Spain: Retail sales drop further in February
March 27, 2013
In February, retail sales contracted 10.6% over the same month last year, which exceeded both the 8.8% fall recorded in January and market expectations of a 10.0% drop. Although the monthly contraction was broad-based, it mainly reflected a sharp drop in sales of household goods. On a working-day adjusted basis, retail sales declined a softer 7.8% over the same month the previous year (January: -10.0% yoy).
As a result of the monthly contraction, the trend continues to point downwards, with annual average variation in retail sales falling from minus 7.5% in December to minus 8.0%, the lowest level on record. Negative growth in retail sales suggests that private consumption will continue to be a drag on economic activity going forward.
Consensus Forecast participants expect private consumption to decline 2.3% in 2013, which is up 0.1 percentage points over last month's projection. For 2014, the panel sees private consumption contracting 0.1%.