Euro-Zone Retail Sales Disappoint Despite Signs of Recovery

Eurozone June retail sales declined 0.2% m/m with May data revised down to -0.5% m/m from -0.4% m/m reported initially. Our forecast and median predicted a rise of 0.3% m/m, but the weaker than expected number was no surprise after the sharp decline in German sales reported at the start of the week. Sales declined 0.4% q/q in Q2, up from -0.9% q/q in the first quarter of the year. This supports the view that overall GDP growth bottomed out in Q1, but also highlights that the recovery will take time and remain shallow. Consumer confidence is improving as lower inflation is boosting real disposable income, but the ongoing rise in unemployment is keeping sales down.