The Bloomberg European retail purchasing index has risen representing the first increase in retail sales in four months

New figures, based on a mid-month survey of economic conditions in the euro area retail sector, have indicated a growth in Euro-zone retail sales.

The Bloomberg Eurozone Retail Purchasing Managers' Index has risen above the 50.0 no-change mark in August to 51.0.

Commenting on the figures Bloomberg said: “Though only modest, the expansion in August was a considerable improvement on July's marked contraction (as signaled by a thirty-eight month index low of 46.2) and represented the first increase in sales in four months.”

Contrasting sales trends were recorded across the three countries covered by the survey:

Germany recorded solid growth, with sales rising for the first time in four months following a sharp decline in July. An improvement in economic conditions, higher consumer spending and successful advertising were all cited as reasons for growth.

Sales in France increased for the first time in three months, though only modestly and at a rate below that seen in Germany. Whilst advertising and the opening of new outlets were reported to have supported growth, there was again evidence that relatively poor weather had dampened sales and footfall.

In contrast to the other two countries, Italy again recorded a decline in sales. It was the sixth successive month in which sales have fallen, although the rate of contraction eased in August to its lowest since March.