Retail sales in the Euro area fell in February for the first time in five months, signaling that the growth in consumer spending power from lower oil prices may be fading.
Retail Sales fell 0.2 per cent in February 2015 from January when they grew 0.9 per cent, Eurostat said in a report on Wednesday.
The sharp decline in energy prices in the final months of last year left households with more money to spend on other goods and services, boosting consumer confidence and spending. But as oil prices have steadied in recent months, that boost has attenuated. For the first time since September, gasoline sales fell, while sales of food and drinks also declined.
The fall was primarily attributed to 0.8 per cent decline in sales of Food, drinks and tobacco and of 0.4 per cent for automotive fuel, while the non-food sector rose by 0.1 per cent.
However, the outlook for consumer spending in the Euro area is expected to rise in 2015, with the unemployment falling and wages starting to pick up in some parts of the currency area.