The Statistical Office of the European Communities observed slight increases in retail trade in Poland and Slovakia, of 4.6% and 3.2% respectively.

However, Latvia, Estonia and Denmark reported the largest declines in retail trade compared to December 2007, of 16.9%, 13.2% and 9% respectively.

In December 2008, the retail sales index decreased by 0.8% in European Union (EU) and by 1.6% in euro area compared to a year earlier.

In European Union, the retail trade of food drinks and tobacco dropped by 1.3% against December 2007 and by 1% in euro area. The non-food sector declined by 0.4% in EU and by 2% in euro area.

On a monthly basis, Romania registered a 1.6% contraction in retail trade volume, unlike EU and euro area where the market fell into a standstill mode.