The services sector of several European countries grew further in July following the strong dive in April and the first signs of stabilisation in May and June. The market researcher Markit reported it on the basis of definitive figures. The services sector includes tourism, retail trade, catering and aviation, which were heavily affected by the measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
For Germany, the largest economy in the euro area, Markit now counted 55.6. A level above 50 indicates growth. A state of 57.3 was reported in France. The figures are a little lower than a previous estimate by Markit.
In Spain and Italy, two countries seriously affected by the coronacrisis, activity also rose. For the euro area as a whole, a score of 54.7 was recorded. This figure, too, was slightly lower than an earlier estimate and is somewhat disappointing in economists. Markit’s researchers warned earlier that there is still a very long way to go before the European economy returns to pre-crisis levels.
Retail sales in the euro area continued to pick up in June following a strong recovery in May and strong declines in the previous months as a result of the corona crisis. Especially at the clothing shops and shoe shops, sales went up again. In the area of food, drink and tobacco, a little less was bought in June.
Retail sales of the 19 euro area countries were up by 5.7% compared to a month earlier. That was a little less strong than economists had anticipated. They assumed, on average, an increase of 6.1 percent. On the other hand, Eurostat revised its estimate of sales in May. In that month, on reflection, there was a sales offer of up to 20.3%, where an increase of 17.8% had previously been reported.
Many shops in Europe were reopened in May and June. In the period before that, many retailers were obliged in several countries to close their branches in connection with the coronam measures.