Spain Retail March 2018


Spain: Retail sales growth loses traction in March

April 27, 2018

Retail sales growth lost some momentum in the final month of the first quarter, partially the result of a strong base effect. Retail sales were up 1.5% in year-on-year terms in March, below the downwardly revised 2.1% increase recorded in February (previously reported: +2.2% year-on-year). Despite the deceleration, low borrowing costs and steady employment growth continue to support households’ disposable income, which bodes well for retail sales growth this year.

March’s deceleration largely represented a weaker expansion in food sales and slower growth in sales of household equipment goods. Sales of personal equipment goods rose at a steady clip in March, while sales across all other categories contracted 1.2% in March, which followed February’s 1.7% expansion. On a distribution-based classification, sales at single retail stores recorded a sizeable contraction, while small chain and department stores recorded weaker sales growth. Purchases at large chain stores, however, logged a faster year-on-year expansion from the previous month in March.

Annual average growth was steady in March at February’s seven-month high of 1.3%.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see private consumption expanding 2.4% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. For 2019, the panel sees private consumption growing at 2.1%.

Author:, Economist

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Spain Retail Chart

Spain Retail March 2018

Note: Year-on-year and annual average variation of retail sales.
Source: National Statistical Institute (INE) and FocusEconomics calculations.

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