Sales tax deters Spanish shoppers


Spanish retail sales fell for the 30th month in a row in December, data showed today, with a hike in sales tax deterring shoppers already suffering from recession and 26 per cent unemployment.

December sales fell by 10.7 per cent year-on-year on a calendar-adjusted basis, the National Statistics Institute said, sharper than November's 7.8 per cent fall.

The government hiked sales tax from September as a way of bringing more revenue into depleted coffers in order to hit strict Europe-imposed deficit targets.

Retail sales in 2012 were down 6.8 per cent on 2011, the data showed.

"The economy slowed down a lot in the last quarter," said Nicolas Lopez, head of analysis at M&G Valores. "The rise in unemployment also reduced income available for families." Unemployment hit 26 per cent for the quarter, the highest level since records were started in the 1970s.

Yesterday, the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office showed a surprise fall in retail sales in Ireland last month, casting fresh doubt on the strength of consumer spending here.

Although some stores reported a last-minute rush prior to Christmas, figures from the CSO showed the volume of retail sales fell by 0.1 per cent in December compared with the previous month.

The figures also indicated sales fell by 1 per cent on an annual basis in December, the largest decline in five months. Total retail sales have now fallen by 25 per cent since the start of the recession.


The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Screen Name Selection


Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.