New York (ots/PRNewswire)
- Bloomberg Eurozone Retail Survey Shows Sales and Profits
Continue to Slide
The March Bloomberg Eurozone Retail Purchasing Managers' Index
("PMI(R)"), a monthly survey indicating economic conditions in the
Eurozone retail sector one month ahead of government figures,
indicates that month-on-month sales at Eurozone retailers continued
to fall during March.
The Bloomberg Eurozone Retail PMI for March registered 48.5 and
remained below the no-change mark of 50.0 for the third month in a
row, signalling a further drop in retail sales across the Eurozone.
Retailers reported that customers remained cautious and were
increasingly price sensitive, while poor weather conditions were
again said to have had a negative impact on demand during the month,
according to the Bloomberg survey.
Retail sectors in France (45.2) and Italy (46.8) were the primary
sources of the overall decline in monthly retail sales in the
Eurozone in March. France posted a more significant decrease in
sales, with the sharpest decline in that country since survey data
was first collected in January 2004.
Italian retail sales fell for the eighth successive month, though
the rate of contraction eased compared with February's index numbers.
Germany, meanwhile, registered growth in monthly retail sales for the
fourth time in the past five months (52.4) as well as growth in
like-for-like sales for the first time in four months (51.0).
Eurozone like-for-like sales decreased for the eleventh
consecutive month from a year earlier (45.6), though the rate of
contraction eased comparatively to February's index numbers.
According to the Bloomberg survey, retailers reported that the latest
fall in sales relative to the corresponding period of last year was
due to poor consumer confidence, bad weather conditions and good
March 2004 trading conditions.
The overall Eurozone decline in sales was in spite of the earlier
Easter holiday, which typically provides a boost to retail sector
activity during that month.
Sales Against Targets
Retailers in the Eurozone continued to miss targets in March
(37.7). Moreover, the degree of failure increased for the second
month running to the highest point since October 2004. Though
according to panellists the weather was partly to blame, an
unwillingness to buy among consumers was also reported to have
undermined efforts to meet sales targets.
Original targets were not met in any three of the major Eurozone
economies. However, retailers expected sales targets in April to
increase with more favorable weather conditions (57.6). The greatest
degree of confidence was expressed by French retailers (64.7).
Failure to meet sales targets and subdued demand led Eurozone
retailers to cut purchasing activity again in March (47.1), with the
exception of those in Germany. Purchasing in Germany rose for the
first time since April 2004 (51.7). The overall drop in buying did
not lead to a fall in overall stock of goods for resale, with
inventories largely unchanged from a month earlier (50.1).
Margins and Prices
Eurozone retail sector profits fell again in March (43.6), as
sales on a yearly and monthly basis continued to decline despite
aggressive promotional activity designed to stimulate demand. The
rate of decline in margins remained sharp despite easing slightly
compared with February.
Profits were also affected by sharp increases in average
purchasing prices (56.1). Input price inflation faced by Eurozone
retailers in March was the highest as indicated by the survey since
Cost pressures and declining sales led to a further fall in
Eurozone retail sector employment in March (49.1). The rate of
shedding employees was only marginal, however, as the majority of
firms managed to avoid redundancies, instead releasing temporary
staff or choosing not to replace those who left.
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Notes to editors
The Bloomberg Eurozone Retail PMI is the first monthly report of
its kind in Europe, providing businesses, governments, central banks,
economists and analysts the most accurate and up to date insights and
data into the Eurozone retail sector.
The index, compiled exclusively for Bloomberg by NTC Research Ltd,
questions more than 1,000 retail executives in Germany, France and
Italy. These countries together represent approximately 75% of total
Eurozone retail sales. National data are weighted together according
to each country's contribution to total Eurozone retail sales to form
the Bloomberg Eurozone Retail PMI.
The survey tracks changes in retail sales, performance against
sales targets, inventories, prices, employment and other key
indicators. Data are published approximately one month ahead of
The Bloomberg Retail PMI report is first published exclusively for
Bloomberg users on the BLOOMBERG terminal at 09:00 GMT, followed by a
general press release and analysis on Bloomberg Television. April and
May data will be released on the following dates:
- April Data: Released 9 May 2005
- May Data: Released 6 June 2005
Web site: http://www.bloomberg.com
ots Originaltext: Bloomberg LP London
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch
Loren Riegelhaupt of Sloane & Company, New York, NY,
, for Bloomberg