Volume of retail trade up by 2.7% in euro area and by 2.6% in the EU

Source: Eurostat

March 2021 compared with February 2021

Volume of retail trade up by 2.7% in euro area and by 2.6% in the EU

Up by 12.0% and 11.6% compared with March 2020

In March 2021, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 2.7% in the euro area and by 2.6% in the EU, compared with February 2021, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In February 2021, the retail trade volume increased by 4.2% in the euro area and by 3.8% in the EU.

In March 2021 compared with March 2020, the calendar adjusted volume of retail trade increased by 12.0% in the euro area and by 11.6% in the EU.

56/2021 – 6 May 2021

Monthly comparison by retail sector and by Member State

In the euro area in March 2021, compared with February 2021, the volume of retail trade increased by 4.6% for non-food products and by 1.0% for food, drinks and tobacco, while it decreased by 2.9% for automotive fuels.

In the EU the volume of retail trade increased by 4.2% for non-food products and by 0.8% for food, drinks and tobacco, while it decreased by 2.3% for automotive fuels.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest monthly increases in total retail trade were registered in Denmark (+22.5%), the Netherlands (+8.4%), Germany and Lithuania (both +7.7%). The largest decreases were observed in Croatia (-4.0%), Poland (-2.2%) and Austria (-1.9%).

Annual comparison by retail sector and by Member State

In the euro area in March 2021, compared with March 2020, the volume of retail trade increased by 25.0% for non- food products (within this category mail orders and internet increased by 37.2%), and by 17.1% for automotive fuels, while it decreased by 1.1% for food, drinks and tobacco.

In the EU, the volume of retail trade increased by 23.6% for non-food products (mail orders and internet increased by 37.4%) and by 14.1% for automotive fuels, while it decreased by 1.2% for food, drinks and tobacco.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest annual increases in total retail trade volume were registered in Slovenia (+24.0%), Denmark (+22.6%) and France (+21.3%). Decreases were observed in Hungary (-2.1%), Portugal (-1.1%) and Malta (-0.1%).

Geographical information

The euro area (EA19) includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg,

Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

The European Union (EU27) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden.

Methods and definitions

The index of the volume of retail trade measures the evolution of the turnover in retail trade, adjusted for price changes (deflated), i.e. the evolution of the total amount of goods sold, based on data adjusted for calendar and seasonal effects.

Seasonal adjustment is a statistical method for removing the effects of recurring seasonal influences, which have been observed in the past from an economic time series, thus showing non-seasonal trends more clearly. Calendar adjustment is a statistical method for removing the variation caused by the changing number of particular weekdays or holidays in different months or other time periods (quarters, years). The annual comparisons are based on data adjusted for calendar effects only.

Seasonally adjusted euro area and EU series are calculated by aggregating the seasonally adjusted national data.

Missing observations from Member States for recent months are estimated for the calculation of the euro area and the EU aggregates.

Revisions and timetable

Data of previous months have been revised compared to those issued in the News Release 43/2021 of 12 April 2021. The monthly percentage change for February 2021 has been revised from +3.0% to +4.2% in the euro area and from +2.9% to +3.8% in the EU. The annual percentage change has been revised from -2.9% to -1.5% in the euro area and from -2.2% to -1.0% in the EU.

For more information

Eurostat database section on short-term business statistics

Eurostat Statistics Explained article on the index of retail trade

The weights of the Member States in the EU and euro area aggregates (See file NEWS_RELEASE_WEIGHTINGS_2015)

Eurostat €-indicators release calendar

European Statistics Code of Practice

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