- Sweden: Consumer Confidence, Business Tendency Survey, Public Finance (Mar)
- Spain: Mortgage Market (Jan), Order Book Forecast (Mar)
- Italy: ISTAT Business & Consumer Survey Press Release (Mar)
- Germany: Business Registrations & Deregistrations (Dec), Import & Export Prices (Feb), IAB Labor Market Barometer (Mar)
- Vietnam: GDP (Q1), CPI, IP, International Trade, Passenger & Cargo Traffic Statistics, Manufacturing Sales and Inventories, International Visitor Arrivals (Mar); Korea: Economic Sentiment
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Economy in Brief
U.S. Energy Product Prices Remain Under Pressure
Regular gasoline prices held steady at $2.32 per gallon last week (12.1% y/y) for the third straight week...
German Federal Debt Levels Fall
German debt level fell outright in Q4 2016 as the ratio of federal debt-to-GDP also fell...
NABE 2018 Forecast: Modest Improvement in Economic Growth & Higher Inflation
The NABE expects 2.5% real U.S. economic growth in 2018 compared to 2.3% forecast for 2017...
Texas Factory Sector Activity Remains Strong
The Dallas Fed indicated in its Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey that the General Business Activity Index eased during March...
EMU Money and Credit Growth Are Less Than Impressive Than Euro-PMIs
EMU nominal money supply growth is slightly higher over three months, but credit growth in the EMU is slower...
Durable Goods Orders Strengthened by Another Jump in Aircraft
New orders for durable goods rose 1.7% (5.0% y/y) during February...
by Robert Brusca August 3, 2016
Retail sales volumes show a slight acceleration in play for total euro area sales volumes from 12-months through three-months. The accelerating trend holds for nonfood products as well. The acceleration trend is being bucked by motor vehicle registrations that are decelerating and contracting over three-months.
Country level data show accelerations in play across nearly all the reporters in the table. All have the pace of three-month sales faster than six-month sales. And only one, Germany, has sales growth weaker over three-months than over 12-months. But three-month sales gains may be boosted in these calculations by recent volatility and by the base level for sales three months ago being depressed (sales in March fell by 0.6%).
The chart is not as kind to the interpretation of these trends. While sales are showing this broad-based acceleration, they also are showing signs of topping as volume levels show signs of coalescing around current levels. This tendency is present for both auto registrations and for retail sales.
This trend overall and these country-level trends in retail spending are much stronger than consumer confidence has been in the monthly EU consumer confidence reports. But the EU indexes have been giving very favorable marks to the retailing sector for some time.
Still, the retail sales volume index for the EMU is only back to the range it has occupied prior to the onset of the great recession in the U.S. and global financial crisis (see Chart). Despite the strong recovery, especially since 2014, there has been no growth in the sector peak to peak for nine years. And now there is some sign that the surge in sales may be abating despite the still accelerating growth rates. Retailing has been the driving force of the European recovery and this sector is definitely one watch. It is also a key sector to monitor because retail shopping is an activity that could easily be adversely affected if people start to feel unsafe in the wake of some of the terror attacks and migrant issues in European countries.