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--EMU February Volume of Retail Trade +0.1% m/m Vs -0.3% in January
--EMU February Volume of Retail Trade +1.8% m/m Vs +1.5% in January
By Jamie Satchithanantham
     LONDON (MNI) - Retail sales activity posted a modest bounce-back in
February, boosted primarily by non-core items, returning to month-on-month
growth on after two consecutive months of contraction, Eurostat data showed
Thursday. 
     Volume growth between January and February was up a slender 0.1% after
falls of 1.0% and 0.3% in December and January respectively. Breaking down the
monthly rise, non-core components provided the bulk of the upward force while
sales of non-food goods continued to stutter. 
     Sales of food, drinks and tobacco, were up 0.8% m/m after two straight
months of contraction and fuel sales were up 0.9%m/m after drops of 0.1% and
0.3% in January and December. 
     Non-food sales, on the other hand, slipped 0.5% m/m and have now only
recorded positive monthly growth once since October last year. 
     Textile, clothing and footwear sales were down 0.2% on the month, a third
consecutive monthly fall (albeit much shallower than the 2.6% and 1.1% declines
in December and January), while sales of electrical goods and furniture were
down 0.7%, the second worst showing in the last six months. 
     All this meant that on the year volumes growth was up 1.8% in February,
above January's 1.5% result but below the 2% rise posted in December.
--MNI London Bureau; +44 203-586-2226; email: jamie.satchithanantham@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: M$X$$$]