March 5, 2018 / 10:52 AM / a year ago

Euro zone Jan retail sales rise on year as internet sales leap

People walk inside a Zara store in central Madrid March 18, 2014. Inditex, the world's biggest fashion retailer, will accelerate investment in 2014 to open more new stores after results last year were hit by falling currencies outside the euro zone and the cost of revamping flagship stores.REUTERS/Andrea Comas

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone retail sales increased by more than expected year-on-year in January thanks to sales of non-food products, especially over the internet, data from the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat showed on Monday.

Eurostat said retail sales in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell 0.1 percent month-on-month for a 2.3 percent year-on-year increase. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.3 percent monthly rise and a 2.1 percent annual gain.

Eurostat also revised upwards the data for December to -1.0 on the month and 2.1 percent on year from -1.1 and 1.9 percent respectively.

The data showed the year-on-year number in January was mainly influenced by a 3.8 percent rise in the sales of non-food products, an acceleration from 3.0 percent in December. Of those non-food products, sales via mail order and over the internet jumped 8.8 percent, up from a 7.5 percent rise in December.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

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