Source: Agencies | 2012-12-6 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
RETAIL sales across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro slumped more than anticipated in October, amid a huge drop in Germany, that will put more pressure on the European Central Bank to cut borrowing rates soon.
Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said yesterday that eurozone retail sales fell 1.2 percent in October from the previous month, double September's drop and sharply above the 0.2 percent drop expected in the markets.
The figures provide further evidence that households across the eurozone remain gloomy over the economy and are reluctant to spend more than they have to - non-food sales were particularly weak in October. The eurozone is back in recession, defined as two straight quarters of falling output, and unemployment is at a record high of 11.7 percent.