FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - The latest developments on the day the European Central Bank is expected to announce a further stimulus for the 19-country eurozone economy. All times local:
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The latest developments on the day the European Central Bank is expected to announce a further stimulus for the 19-country eurozone economy. All times local:
Official figures show that retail sales across the eurozone remain sluggish despite the boon offered to consumers by cheap oil and subdued consumer price gains.
The European Union's statistics agency says retail sales slipped by 0.1 percent in October from the previous month. That's the second straight 0.1 percent decline and suggests that a rise in consumer demand earlier in the year may have run its course. October's weakness was largely due to declines in Europe's top two economies, Germany and France.
On an annual basis, Eurostat said retail sales were 2.5 percent higher in October, down from September's rate of 2.9 percent.
A closely watched survey suggests that the economic recovery across the eurozone is getting stronger but that price gains remain subdued.
Financial information company Markit says its purchasing managers' index — a broad gauge of activity across the manufacturing and services sector — rose to 54.2 points in November from 53.9 the previous month. Anything above 50 indicates expansion.
Markit says that the rates of expansion in output, new orders and employment all accelerated to be at, or close to, the fastest for 4 ½ years. It also says backlogs of work suggest that solid growth may continue at the end of the year.
However, the survey shows that the faster growth is not fueling inflation. Low levels of inflation are the primary reason why the ECB is expected to announce new stimulus later Thursday.