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Retail sales in Italy during August remained unchanged from the previous month as spending on food held steady, while non-food consumption shrunk, data released by the statistical office ISTAT showed on Friday.
The seasonally adjusted retail trade index remained unchanged from July, when sales declined a revised 0.2 percent. This was in line with economists' expectations and came after a 0.2 percent decreases in the previous two months.
Sales of food were stable in August, following a 0.1 percent gain in the previous month. Non-food sales declined for the fourth straight month, down 0.1 percent.
On an annual basis, non-adjusted retail sales rose 0.2 percent in August, after declining 0.8 percent in the previous month. The increase came in contrast to economists' expectations for a 2.3 percent fall.
It was the first annual increase since June last year. Food sales grew 1 percent, while non-food sales shrunk 0.4 percent.
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