Retail sales in Italy improved slightly in October, the country's National Statistics Institute (ISTAT) reported Friday, continuing the trend from the previous month and providing a dose of good news for an economy struggling from the impacts of the coronavirus, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
The news came a day after ISTAT renewed its previous economic growth estimates for this year and 2021. ISTAT said Thursday that it expects the Italian economy to contract 8.9 percent this year before growing 4.0 percent in 2021. The growth target for this year is in line with ISTAT's previous estimate.
The improvement in domestic retail sales gave support to those economic growth estimates. ISTAT said the value of sales rose by 0.6 percent while the volume of sales rose by 0.2 percent compared to September. Over the three-month period ending in October, sales climbed 7.6 percent by value and 9.0 percent by volume.
According to ISTAT, the strongest growth sectors in October came from computers and telecommunications equipment, which saw a 26-percent increase compared to the previous month, and home appliances and audio-visual equipment, which increased by 18.6 percent.
According to Italian customs data released in summer, China was Italy's top non-European trading partner last year. Economic data from consultancy Trading Economics showed that the biggest sector for Italian imports from China, totaling 7.5 billion U.S. dollars last year, was in the sectors that saw the biggest growth in retail sales in the latest ISTAT report, including electrical goods and equipment.