Howard Archer, an economist at IHS Global Insight, estimates retail sales were 0. 4 per cent higher in the second quarter than in the first, and that consumer spending therefore made a "modest" contribution to economic growth. "Hopefully, still above-average consumer confidence, modestly improving labor markets in most countries and very low consumer price inflation will provide support to consumer spending over the coming months and help the euro-zone economic recovery to gradually gain traction following a largely disappointing first half of the year," Mr. Archer said.
The latest survey suggests Spain's overall economic performance continued to improve in the third quarter after a similar survey released on Friday pointed to only a slight slowdown in manufacturing activity in July. "Companies remained optimistic that these recent improvements will continue over the coming year," said Andrew Harker, an economist at Markit.
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