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MNI: ITALY DATA: Retail Sales (Mar 2019) Preview -...>

MNI: ITALY DATA: Retail Sales (Mar 2019) Preview - 09:00 BST
- Bloomberg Consensus: 0.1% m/m, 1.0% y/y; Previous (Feb): 0.1% m/m, 0.9% y/y 
- Markets look for another marginal gain in Mar retail sales, following growth
of 0.6% & 0.1% in Jan & Feb
- Food sales declined by 0.6% m/m in Feb, but this followed the strongest gain
in Jan since last May
- Non-food sales, meanwhile, rose in both Jan (+0.2%) & Feb (+0.5%)
- After a flat quarterly performance in Q4, market forecasts for Mar imply that
retail sales rose by 0.4% q/q in Q1...
- ... helping private consumption to make a positive contribution to first
quarter GDP growth (flash estimate: +0.2% q/q)
- However, fwd-looking indicators point to weaker HH spending growth ahead
- Consumer sentiment resumed its downtrend in Feb & Mar after a brief Jan rise..
- ... while the ECB's latest Bank Lending Survey showed that demand for bank
loans slowed sharply in Q1

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