Economy & Politics

Retail sales collapse

As a direct result of the confinement put in place all over Europe, the activity recorded in April within the EU fell sharply, Eurostat said on Thursday. Luxembourg is no exception to this slump and shows one of the most significant falls, with a decline of almost 25%.

Eddy RENAULD

Eddy RENAULD

As a direct result of the confinement put in place all over Europe, the activity recorded in April within the EU fell sharply, Eurostat said on Thursday. Luxembourg is no exception to this slump and shows one of the most significant falls, with a decline of almost 25%.

Same cause, same consequence. In April, the volume of sales in the retail trade continued its spectacular decline, according to data published Thursday by Eurostat. A decline which reaches 11.1% for the whole of the European Union and 11.7% within the 19 countries of the euro zone, according to the European statistical office which notes that over one year, the fall reaches 19, 6% in the euro area and 18% in the EU.

Unsurprisingly, Luxembourg is not spared and is even among the most affected countries. Between March and April, turnover and sales volume fell by 12%, a level close to that recorded in Portugal or Latvia (-17.5%). Over one year, the fall turns out to be even more significant, since the country’s retail businesses experience a drop in activity of 24.7%. Which makes it one of the most affected countries, as well as Spain (-29.8%) or France (31.1%).

The containment put in place by the various EU countries since mid-March and the importance of the oil sector in the Grand Duchy (234 stations and nearly 2,600 direct jobs) partly explain these disappointing results. As a reminder, in its latest study on tourism at the pump, Statec revealed that eight out of ten liters were sold to non-residents. In addition to closing the borders, the massive use of telework is also an explanation for this sad bulletin given by Luxembourg.

That said, in comparison with the European average, the Grand Duchy is not doing too badly. Also according to Eurostat, between April 2020 and 2019, the volume of retail trade sales in the euro area decreased by 46.9% for fuels and by 33.6% for non-food products. In contrast, the “food, beverage and tobacco” sector posted an increase of 2.5%. Mail order and internet sales jumped nearly 21%.


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