ECONOMY

Retail turnover shrinks in April

Retail commerce returned to its southbound course in April on an annual basis after posting a brief rise in March, according to figures released on Friday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

After the small increase in the year?s third month attributed to pre-Easter purchases, the sales volume index dropped in April by 13.5 percent compared to the same month in 2011. Still, it climbed 8.7 percent from March, as it usually does every year. In the first four months of the year retail turnover shrank by 13.2 percent from the same period last year.

What is more remarkable is the decline in turnover at gas stations and supermarkets, which points to recession-hit households cutting back majorly on expenses and only buying the mere basics: The volume index for supermarkets dropped 8.8 percent annually while that of fuel stations fell 11.6 percent.

Predictably, apparel sale volume suffered the most, going down by 27.2 percent. Other food stores, not including supermarkets, saw turnover shrink by 20.5 percent.