March retail sales drop at slowest pace in 19 months

Greek retail sales by volume fell 5.6 percent year-on-year in March after a revised 14.1 percent drop in the previous month, their slowest pace of decline since September 2011, statistics service ELSTAT said on Friday.

Austerity measures imposed by the debt-laden country’s foreign lenders and record unemployment have hurt private consumption, the main driver of its economy.

Retail sales by volume fell 12 percent in 2012, bringing the sector’s total contraction in 2009-2012 to 34 percent.