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Retail sales, including food, fall in Italy

Istat says spending continues to weaken

20 December, 11:43
Retail sales, including food, fall in Italy (ANSA) - Rome, December 20 - Retail sales, including shopping for food, fell in October by 1.6% compared with the same time last year, national statistical agency Istat reported Friday.

It also found that retail sales in October fell by 0.1% compared with the month before.

Food sales fell by 0.2% between September and October, and dropped by 0.6% compared with October 2012.

Istat also reported sales slipped by 3.6% for books, stationery, and newspapers during October compared with the same month last year; while sales of furniture fell by 3% on an annualized basis, and footwear by 2.6%.

The report comes as government officials have been expressing optimism that Italy is finally pulling out of its deepest recession since the Second World War.

Gross domestic product (GDP) was flat in the third quarter of this year after eight consecutive months of losses, leading to forecasts of modest growth to come in 2014.