Retail sales in the 17 countries sharing the euro fell more than expected in September despite some resilience in powerhouse Germany, the EU's statistics office said on Monday, reinforcing concern that the bloc's economy may be heading for a recession.
In the first negative reading since May, sales slipped 0.7 percent in September from the previous month, Eurostat said in an initial estimate. That was much worse than the 0.1-percent decrease forecast in a Reuters poll of economists. Sales in the 27-nation European Union fell 0.3 percent in the same period.
"It was a pretty disappointing figure," said Juergen Michels, an economist at Citigroup. "The 0.7-percent decline in retail sales really suggests there is a huge amount of uncertainty coming through to consumers."
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