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Malta registers highest increase in retail trade in EU in August

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Retail trade levels have picked up in August 2021, with Malta registering the highest increase, both month-on-month as well as year-on-year, across the eurozone.

Although such data provides room for encouragement for the business community and the wider economic scenario, the yearly increase is to be considered in the context that last year, following the rise of coronavirus attributed mainly to a number of festivals around the 15th August holiday, wide restrictive measures were implemented during the last week of the month, including the closure of nightclubs and bars, mandatory use of masks in all closed public spaces except restaurants; restrictions on mass events such as weddings, with only seated events being permitted and with restrictions on the number of persons allowed.

In the euro area in August 2021, compared with July 2021, the volume of retail trade increased by 1.8% for non-food products, while it fell by 0.1% for automotive fuels and by 1.7% for food, drinks and tobacco. In the EU, the volume of retail trade increased by 1.8% for non-food products, while it fell by 0.3% for automotive fuels and by 1.5% for food, drinks and tobacco.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest monthly increases in total retail trade were registered in Malta (+2.7%), Ireland (+2.5%) and Slovakia (+2.0%). The largest decreases were observed in Denmark ( 1.4%), Estonia and France (both 1.2%).

In the euro area in August 2021, compared with August 2020, the volume of retail trade increased by 1.3% for non-food products and by 1.2% for automotive fuels, while it fell by 1.9% for food, drinks and tobacco. In the EU, the volume of retail trade increased by 3.0% for non-food products and by 2.1% for automotive fuels, while it fell by 1.5% for food, drinks and tobacco.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest annual increases in total retail trade were registered in Malta (+19.6%), Croatia (+18.1%) and Slovenia (+12.3%). The largest decreases were registered in Belgium (4.9%), France ( 2.1%), Spain and Luxembourg (both 1.3%).

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