Retail sales slide starts slowing down

Greece’s retail sales by volume fell 10.2 percent year-on-year in July after a 14.2 percent drop in June, the smallest percentage drop in seven months, data from the National Statistical Service (NSS) showed yesterday. «The sharp year-on-year contraction continued in July but at a slightly slower pace compared to previous months. The data support our expectation of a continued contraction in the real growth of private consumption in the second half of 2009,» economist Platon Monokroussos told Reuters. Retail sales volume has not shown a single-digit drop since December when it fell by 7.1 percent on an annual basis. Retail sales by revenues dropped 9.1 percent year-on-year in July after a 13.4 percent drop in the previous month, NSS data showed. Tighter credit and rising unemployment as Greece’s economy slows sharply have hurt retail sales so far this year, in line with broader eurozone trends. Retail trade in the 16 countries using the euro defied expectations of a rebound and fell 1.8 percent year-on-year in July, according to data from Eurostat. It was pulled lower mainly by softer sales of food, drinks and tobacco, in a sign consumer demand has yet to benefit from any nascent economic recovery.