Nobody Can't See Nothin'

From Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis
February 27, 2013 - 1:19pm

As expected (in this corner but certainly not from economic cheerleaders masquerading as economists), eurozone retail sales are plunging across the board, even in Germany. Let's take a look at a few key reports. France The Markit France Retail PMI shows sharpest drop in sales for six months. Key Points: Sales down markedly on both monthly and annual measures Targets missed to greatest extent in series history Purchasing activity falls at sharpest rate since July 2012  Summary: The French retail sector was caught in a deepening downturn during February. Sales fell sharply on both a monthly and annual basis, while there was a survey-record shortfall versus previously set plans. Retailers’ gross margins continued to be squeezed by a combination of higher purchasing costs and strong competitive pressures. Stock levels and employment meanwhile both declined. The headline Retail PMI® registered 44.3 during February. The latest reading was down from 47.0 in January, and signalled the steepest month-on-month drop in sales since August 2012. Gross margins in the French retail sector decreased further in February. The rate of contraction was marked and the sharpest since last October. Survey respondents indicated that margins had been squeezed by a combination of intense competitive pressures and higher purchasing costs. Italy The Markit Italy Retail PMI shows Retail sector remains firmly in contraction. Key points: Monthly rate of decline in sales slowest since last September, though still steep overall Slowest decline in employment for two-and-a-half years Further substantial drop in stock levels Summary: The seasonally adjusted Markit Italian Retail PMI® climbed to a five-month high of 40.6 in February, from January’s reading of 37.5. This signalled that the monthly rate of decline in sales eased since the start of the year, but nevertheless still remained sharp overall. Compared with the situation 12 months previously, Italian retail sales were down sharply in February. The year-on-year rate of decline was well in excess of the long-run series average, and slightly faster than in the preceding survey period. Retailers recorded a marked degree of underperformance during the latest survey period, with sales in February well down on levels previously planned for. Moreover, the difference between actual and targeted sales was greater than in the opening month of the year. Germany The Markit Germany Retail PMI shows Renewed decline in German retail sales. Key Points: Retail PMI below 50.0 level for second time in three months Sharpest year-on-year sales decline since April 2010 Sales fall short of plans by widest margin since January 2012 Summary: The seasonally adjusted Germany Retail PMI dipped back below the neutral 50.0 value in February. At 47.6, down from 51.0 in January, the latest reading matched that seen in December and was the joint-lowest for ten months. Survey respondents commented on subdued househol...

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