Dec 23, 2008
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Italian official October retail sales fall 0.3 percent

Dec 23, 2008

MILAN, Dec 23, 2008 (AFP) - Italian retail sales dipped 0.3 percent in October after rising slightly in September, according to seasonally adjusted figures released on Tuesday, December 24th by the national statistics agency ISTAT.

Photo : Mychele Daniau/AFP

They rose 0.2 percent in September after dropping 0.4 percent in August, ISTAT said, adding that October sales were down 0.7 percent from October 2007.

Retail food sales were up 0.7 percent on the year.

However, consumption of non-food products dropped 1.6 percent on the year, with decreases of 2.6 percent in clothing and 1.9 percent in cosmetics.

The report comes amid grim economic news for Italy, which officially entered a recession in the third quarter this year blamed largely on a drop in overseas demand.

Italy switched into a trade deficit of 74 million euros (104 million dollars) in October compared with a surplus of 461 million euros in October 2007 due to weakness in its all-important export sector.

The country's trade deficit with countries outside the European Union ballooned in November to 1.23 billion euros compared with 575 million euros 12 months earlier, ISTAT said Monday.

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