Retail sales in the 17 countries sharing the euro fell more than expected in September despite some resilience in Germany, according to the EU's statistics office.
The results were the first negative trend since May and saw sales fall 0.7 percent in September from the previous month, said Eurostat in an initial estimate. The results were worse than the 0.1 percent decrease forecast in a Reuters poll of economists. Sales in the 27-nation European Union fell 0.3 percent in the same period.
The causes of the decline were inflation, volatile financial markets and the affects of Europe's sovereign debt crisis and unemployment.
Germany reported a 0.4 percent increase in retail sales in September, compared to August, but there was a decline in France, where sales fell 0.6 percent. Spain saw a decline of 1.7 percent.