Spanish retail sales worse than expected

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Is inflation beginning to bite consumers in Spain?

Annual retail sales growth stagnated in February and was lower than previously thought in January, according to data released today, as prices rose at their fastest rate in four years.

Revised seasonally-adjusted figures showed the first year on year decline in sales in more than two and a half years in January. Sales slipped 0.1 per cent, compared to early estimates of a 0.1 per cent increase.

Sales steadied in February, remaining flat on a year on year basis, but the slight improvement was much worse than economists had forecast. Experts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected growth of 0.9 per cent.

Surging energy costs drove consumer prices in Spain up 3 per cent in the year to February, though data released yesterday showed the inflation rate fell back this month.

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