Spain: Retail sales drop most in over three years
May 29, 2012
In April, retail sales plunged 11.3% over the same month last year, which nearly tripled the revised 4.0% drop recorded in March (previously reported: -3.6% year-on-year). The reading marked, in fact, the largest fall since February 2009. Although the decline was broad-based, the monthly reading mainly reflected a sharp drop in sales of personal equipment as well as of household goods. On a seasonally and working-day adjusted basis, retail sales declined 9.8% over the same month last year, a sharp deterioration compared to the 3.8% drop observed in March. As a result of the decline in April, the trend is now deteriorating again after a brief improvement in the previous two months, with annual average variation in retail sales falling from minus 5.4% in March to minus 6.1%. Negative growth in retail sales suggests that private consumption will continue to be a drag on economic activity going forward.