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Financial News: Dutch Retail Sales Growth Rises In Q1; Business

Dutch Retail Sales Growth Rises In Q1; Business Confidence At Record Low

05/15/2020 - 03:57:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Dutch retail sales rose in the first quarter led by a surge in supermarket sales as consumers spend more on essentials such as food in preparation for the coronavirus-triggered lockdown, but the confidence in the retail industry sank to a record low, figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics showed on Friday.

Retail sales rose 4.0 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, following a 3.8 percent increase in the previous three months.

Food sales grew 6.4 percent in the first quarter, which was the largest increase since the second quarter of 2008. In March alone, supermarket sales jumped 13.1 percent, as people stocked up their essential supplies in anticipation of the lockdown.

Non-food sales fell 0.6 percent, which was the first decrease in turnover since the third quarter of 2016. sales of clothing and footwear slumped in March, while those in DIY and consumer electronics stores, and drug shops climbed.

Internet sales gained 19.1 percent in the first quarter, which was the biggest since the first quarter of 2018.

In April, business confidence in the retail sector fell to the lowest point since the measurement began in the fourth quarter of 2008, the agency said.

Separately, the statistical office announced that overall business confidence weakened at a record pace to a historic low in the second quarter, largely led by the gloom in the hospitality industry.

The business confidence index for non-financial companies decreased to -37.2 from +6.4 in the previous quarter. The survey showed that nearly 69 percent of entrepreneurs expect a deterioration in the economic climate in the next three months, while only 3 percent expect an improvement.

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