Poland April retail sales decline unexpectedly, jobless rate drops
Poland’s retail sales decreased from last year in April, defying economists’ forecast for an increase. Sales dropped 0.2% from a year earlier as consumers spent less on food and fuels, the Central Statistics Office said Friday. Economists had forecast sales to grow by 1.1%. The overall slump in sales reflected an 8% fall in trade in fuel products, and a 3.6% drop in sales of food, beverages and tobacco products. Sales of automobiles, meanwhile, rose by 5.8% from a year earlier, and clothing and footwear sales climbed 11.6%. Separately, the statistics office said Poland’s unemployment rate dropped to 14% in April from 14.3% in March. Economists were looking for a sharper fall to 13.9%. The figures for the last few months show that unemployment has risen by about 1% compared with the same months in 2012. The number of registered unemployed persons at the end of April was 2.26 million, while labor offices offered jobs for 44,300 people, the Warsaw-based agency said.
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