The volume of retail sales in the eurozone rebounded in June to levels recorded in February before lockdowns completing a recovery that began in May after record drops in March and April.
Sales in the 19-country currency bloc rose by 5.7 per cent in June from May, according to Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office. Spending on clothing and car fuel drove the gains.
The increase in sales was smaller than the 5.9 per cent forecast by economists polled by Reuters, but that was largely offset by an upward revision of May sales. Eurostat said that the volume of shopping increased by 20.3 per cent in May, revising its earlier estimate of a 17.8 per cent increase.
The two consecutive increases in sales fully offset the record declines in March and April, when many eurozone countries imposed lockdowns to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The shopping volume in June was 1.3 per cent higher than a year earlier, the first annual rise since February. Month-on-month, retail sales went up in June by double digits in Ireland, Spain and Italy, but fell again in Germany and Austria after large increases in May.
Sales of textiles, clothing and footwear grew by 20.4 per cent month-on-month in the eurozone, after a record 224.1 per cent jump in May.