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Eurozone retail sales rise in February after German VAT hike

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(BRUSSELS) - Retailers in the 13 countries sharing the euro saw their sales rise in February as German spending bounced back from a value added tax hike the previous month, official EU data showed Wednesday.

The volume of retail trade in the eurozone grew 0.3 percent in February over one month and 1.2 percent over one year, the European Union's Eurostat data agency said.

That marked an improvement from January when sales fell 0.8 percent over one month and rose 1.1 over one year, Eurostat said, revising up its data from an earlier estimate.

Meanwhile, retail sales in the 27-nation EU also improved in February, growing 0.5 percent over one month and 2.8 percent over one year.

The data showed that retail sales in Germany, the biggest economy in Europe, jumped 1.0 percent from January, when consumers were hit with a full three-percentage point increase in the value added tax rate.

German retail sales, which account for 27.7 percent of overall eurozone sales, had slumped 4.5 percent in January over one month, weighing on the overall result for the single currency bloc.

Further information - Eurostat press release

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