FRANKFURT—Euro zone retail sales surged past all expectations in November, driven by in-store non-food purchases, data from Eurostat showed on Friday, indicating that consumer demand remained healthy even as fresh pandemic-related restrictions were implemented.
Retail sales, a proxy for consumer demand, in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 1 percent by value on the month, defying expectations for a 0.5 percent drop in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Compared to a year earlier, retail sales expanded by 7.8 percent, well ahead of projections for 5.6 percent, the European Union's statistics agency said.
Non-food sales rose by 1.6 percent on the month while car fuel sales fell by 1.5 percent, reversing their earlier trend.
Among the bloc's bigger countries, Spain and France performed above average while Germany was a drag on the retail expansion.