According to data from Spain's National Statistics Institute (INE) the general retail trade index in constant price terms (in other words, after adjusting for the price effect) decreased by 8.7% year on year in March. However, as the INE are quick to point out, he calendar effect for this month was determined both by the difference in number of working days and by Easter, which this year fell in March, whereas in 2007 it fell in April. Eliminating the calendar effect, the Retail Trade Index at constant prices decreased only 5.5%. But this is still quite a large decrease, so even if the dramatic slope of the line in the chart below tends to overestimate the situation somewhat, the general trend is quite disturbing, and obviously it will be interesting to now see what happens in April.
Foodstuffs increased 5.1%, while non-food products decreased 11.2%. A breakdown of the latter by type of product showed the following rates: -6.0% for Personal Goods, -17.1% in Furniture and household equipment and -8.2% in Other goods.
Breaking down the general retail sector index according to the different means of distribution we find that large chain stores recorded the lowest negative interannual rate at constant prices (- 2.4%), followed by department stores (-7.8%). In contrast, companies with a single outlet and small chain stores recorded a more pronounced decrease in retail sales as compared with the previous year at constant terms, with rates of - 11.2% and –11.4%, respectively.
Spain Real Time Data Charts
Edward Hugh is only able to update this blog from time to time, but he does run a lively Twitter account with plenty of Spain related comment. He also maintains a collection of constantly updated Spain charts with short updates on a Storify dedicated page Spain's Economic Recovery - Glass Half Full or Glass Half Empty?