While France and Spain, registered a rise in fashion sales in September well above the average, Germany and Italy dropped the growth of the sector.
Europe faces the final stretch of the year at double speed for the fashion business. While sales speed up in two of the main eurozone markets for the sector (France and Spain), in the other two they grow little or decrease (Germany and Italy). On the other hand, the European Commission has reviewed downwards the growth forecasts of all the economies of the region, which as a whole will raise its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 1.1% in 2019. How will the two drivers for fashion in Europe evolve in the last months of the decade?
In Germany, the largest consumer market in the European Union, fashion sales grew by 1.1% in September compared year-on-year, according to the latest data on retail sales from Eurostat. Although the sector speeded up to the 0.5% rise in July, it left behind the 4.9% and 7.6% peaks reached in March and June, respectively. In addition, fashion sales in Germany continue to grow below the European average.
The slowdown in fashion consumption in the country is in line with the latest Brussels forecasts on the German economy. The European Commission pointed out that the economy would grow only by 0.4% in 2019, compared to the 1.5% rise of 2018. Despite this, all retail sales has registered good results in the country: in September, retail sales grew 3.4% in Germany.
Italy, on the other hand, presents an unusual scenario. Although the forecasts of the European Commission estimate that the economy of the country will grow by only 0.1% in 2019, compared to the 0.9% increase last year, fashion sales will gain speed in the final stretch of the year. In particular, apparel, clothing and footwear sales reached a 1.7% year-on-year increase in September, compared to the 2% drop in the previous month.
Despite this, like Germany, Italy is among the countries that undermine the evolution of fashion sales in the continent. In both cases, the growth of fashion sales is clearly below the result in September of the whole European Union (with an increase of 3.2%) and of the eurozone (where fashion sales increased by 3.1 % compared to the same month of 2018).
While Italy and Germany are among the ballasts, the opposite happens with France and Spain. The French country puts both its economy and its fashion sales upwards. France closed August (last month there are data) with a growth of 4.1% of retail sales in the sector, compared to the advance of only 0.7% recorded in July. At the same time, Brussels estimates that the French economy will reach 1.3% growth in 2019.