Spain: Decline in retail sales softens in September
Retail sales shrank 2.1% compared to the same month a year ago in September, after falling 4.7% in August.
Looking at the details of the release, September’s result was mainly driven by softer drops in sales at single retail and small chain stores. In addition, purchases at large chain stores picked up compared to August, while they rebounded at department stores.
On a seasonally- and calendar-adjusted monthly basis, retail sales slipped 0.3% in September (August: +1.4% s.a. mom), marking the first decline since April and suggesting that the recovery has lost steam. Lastly, the trend pointed down, with the annual average variation of retail sales coming in at minus 5.5% in September, down from August’s minus 5.0% reading.
Commenting on the figures and what it means for activity ahead, Steven Trypsteen, Spain and Portugal economist at ING, noted:
“This offers further evidence that the post-lockdown recovery came to a halt at the end of the third quarter and does not bode well for the fourth quarter. […] Concerning the fourth quarter, we expect growth to move back into negative territory. With the second Covid-19 wave also spreading fast in the rest of Europe, and the recent pessimistic survey data, it appears that we are moving from a “Nike Swoosh” recovery to a W-shaped one.”