Retail sales in the 17-nation Euro bloc fell in April, demonstrating a continuing slump in consumer confidence and heightening concern for the Euro’s security. April retail sales dropped a full percentage point on the month, which was more than the 0.1% drop economists had predicted. The yearly drop was 2.5%, also steeper than the expected -1.1%.
A breakdown of the data showed that Spanish consumers cut spending the most, while German numbers were relatively strong, bolstered by low unemployment numbers. Unemployment in Spain has reached critical peaks recently as the nation struggles to bail out its banking sector. Spanish Budget Minister Montaro today called for Europe’s ESM bailout mechanism to directly recapitalize Spain’s banks, reflecting Madrid’s growing unease with the unstable situation.
The Euro remained oversold in today’s trade as the weak spending numbers understandably failed to inspire confidence in the single currency.
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