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The holiday season failed to provide the widely expected boost to Italy’s retail sector at the end of the year.
Retail sales in the eurozone’s third largest economy fell 0.5 per cent in December, Italian stats agency Istat said, confounding expectations of a 0.2 per cent rise compared with the previous month.
On an annual basis, Italy’s retail sales did a lot worse than expected, falling 0.2 per cent against expectations of a 0.9 per cent rise in December that would have built on November’s 0.8 per cent annualised gain.
Separate figures earlier this month showed the country notched up its best annual economic growth since 2010, at 0.9 per cent in 2016, up from 0.73 per cent the previous year.