BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone retail sales rallied more than expected in October, data showed on Thursday, mainly thanks to a surge in online shopping as a second wave of COVID-19 infections arrived.
The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said retail sales in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 1.5% month-on-month in October after a 1.7% monthly slump in September, for a 4.3% year-on-year increase.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.8% month rise and a 2.7% annual gain.
Eurostat said internet and mail order sales jumped 6.1% on the month and surged 28.5% year-on-year, offsetting a 2.8 percent monthly and a 14.0% year-on-year fall in sales of clothes and shoes from shops.
Also sales of petrol fell sharply by 3.7% month-on-month and 9.6% year-on-year, a steeper fall than in the previous month, as fewer people travelled because of the pandemic.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)