European Retail Sales and UnemploymentJanuary 08, 2014
Overall retail sales came in much higher than the expected +0.3%yoy gain:
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for the entirety of the region remained steady for the eighth month in a row:
However, when we look more closely at some of the individual countries, we notice a somewhat unexpected phenomenon. One might not expect to see strong retail sales in countries afflicted by stubbornly high unemployment, but today’s data out of Europe show just that.
Given the 10.8% unemployment rate in France, we would not anticipate a rise in retail sales of 2.4%yoy. Portugal’s unemployment rate fell just slightly– to 15.5%– but it managed to post the second highest rise in retail sales (3.5%yoy). Meanwhile, retail sales in Germany (with just 5.2% unemployment, the second lowest in all of Europe) only only grew 1.6%yoy.