Eurozone retail sales fell sharply in March due to the coronavirus outbreak and mitigation measures. This was reported by the European statistics agency Eurostat.
According to Eurostat, retail sales in the nineteen euro countries fell by an average of 11.2 percent compared to February. Sharp decreases were seen in sales of non-food products and fuel, for example because there was much less driving with the car. However, sales of food, drink and tobacco increased as people started hoarding groceries in anticipation of the crisis.
For the entire European Union, Eurostat recorded a 10.4 percent drop in retail sales. The largest decreases within the EU were measured in Bulgaria, France and Luxembourg. Only a slight plus could be seen in Ireland.
Sales also came under pressure as shops and shopping centers were closed in many countries. Within the product categories, the strongest sales declines were seen in clothing, footwear, electronics, furniture and books. Online sales increased as people started shopping more via the internet.