Retail sales show improvement in Germany and Spain

German retail sales contracted for the first time in five months in February by -0.5%. However, the figures for year-on-year sales are certainly more positive, showing a rise of 3.6% compared to February 2014. Figures for German unemployment will be released later this morning, with indications showing the rate will stay around the record low rate of 4.7%.

Across the euro zone, data is expected a slightly improved performance in inflation figures, with analysts divided on whether the figure will return to positive territory for the month of March. Unemployment figures from the continent are also due for release today, with the figure expected to decline marginally to 11.1% from 11.2% a month previously.

In Spain, retail sales figures for February are expected to rise slightly month-on-month, but as with Germany, the year-on-year figure is likely to be more positive and is anticipated to show growth of around 4.1%. Also due for release today are Spanish business confidence indicators, which are expected to post a slight improvement for February. Confidence amongst Spanish businesses is currently at it’s highest level since late 2007, albeit the figure is likely to remain in negative territory at -4.72. 

January’s reading for the Spanish current account is predicted to show that the surplus narrowed to €1 billion euro, having previously stood at €4.8 billion in December.

In tourism news, Spanish hotel chain NH are expected to announce double-digit growth in both prices and occupancy rates. Rates are higher in primary and secondary cities, offering further signs of recovery in Spain’s tourism sector. 

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