Malta: Retail sector registers sharpest drop in the EU

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The volume of retail trade fell for a second consecutive month in February, decreasing by 1.5 percent from January. Data by Eurostat shows that the drop in Malta was the highest among EU members, followed by France and Hungary (both -1.2%). The retail sector in the EU27 registered a 2.9 percent month-on-month increase, driven by non-food products (+6.2%) and automotive fuels in specialised stores (+2.4%).

Austria recorded a 28.2 percent increase in total volume of retail trade, the highest increase in the EU, ahead of Slovenia (+16.4%) and Italy (+8.4).

Compared with February 2020, the sector fell by an average of 2.2 percent across member states. Malta registered a decrease of 8.9 percent, a drop smaller only than that observed in Portugal (-15.4%) and Slovakia (-14.7%).

Among the countries that recorded a year-on-year increase, retail trade grew highest in Belgium (+11.0%), Austria (+5.2%) and Croatia (+5.1%).