Spain: Retail sales surge on an extremely low-base effect in March
Retail sales jumped 18.1% compared to the same month of 2020 in March 2021, after plunging 9.6% in February, benefiting from an extremely low-base effect as March 2020 was the first month of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Looking at the details of the release, March’s rebound reflected a broad-based bounce-back across all types of stores. Sales at single retail, small chain, department stores and large chain stores all expanded at sharp paces in the month.
On a seasonally- and calendar-adjusted monthly basis, retail sales grew 3.5% in March, following the 4.1% rise logged in February. Lastly, the trend pointed up, with the annual average variation of retail sales coming in at minus 6.5% in March, down from February’s minus 8.8% reading.
Commenting on the near-term outlook for consumer spending, Angel Talavera, head of Europe Economics at Oxford economics, stated:
“We expect a strong pick-up later this year and next as normal activities resume, especially given the large amount of excess savings that households have accumulated. In the longer term, the main risk for consumer spending would be a permanent surge in unemployment once public support measures are withdrawn.”