Spanish General Retail Trade Index increases more than 6.5 points

The Spanish General Retail Trade Index (RTI) annual change at constant prices stood at 2.2% in September, more than six points and a half higher than the registered in August, says the National Statistics Institute (INE by its Spanish initials).

All distribution classes increased their sales as compared with September 2012. Single retail stores (3.1%) registered the greatest increase. Sales increased in all Spanish regions, as compared with September 2012, except in País Vasco (–2.4%) and Castilla y León and Extremadura (both at –1.1%). In turn, Baleares (10.0%), Valencia and Canarias (both at 4.1%) registered the greatest annual rates.

According to experts at Arcano Group, there is increasing evidence of a slight recovery in consumption. “We are facing a turning point”, they add. And as we can see, figures speak for themselves. The 2.2% increase broke the streak of 38 months of consecutive losses. It opens the door of hope to merchants and tradesmen.

However, it is too early to celebrate. Executive Secretary of the Professionals and Freelance’s Union (UPTA by its Spanish initials) warns, “this rise is encouraging, but it’s soon to see a significant recovery. We should be prudent and see what happens in the coming months.”

On the other hand, the leading indicator of the Spanish Consumer Price Index (CPI) declined by 4 tenths to -0.1% in its year-on-year rate on October, due to the drop in food and soft drinks prices, and the less than expected increase in university fees.

Thus, the Spanish CPI turns negative for the first time since 2009 –when the year-on-year inflation rate plummeted to -0.7%. Such devastating data could lead to a possible deflation of the Spanish economy.

“This is not the first time that the CPI falls on a year-on-year basis in Spain during the crisis. But it is surprising that prices fall when the optimism about the recovery is getting stronger among authorities and economic agents,” expert at Citi José Luis Martínez Campuzano explains.

Estefania Ponte, Strategy and Economy Director at Cortal Consors, considers that this is just a “punctual decrease due to the effect of last year’s increase in VAT.”

Read the official press release here.

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