The European Union conducts a coordinated program of business and consumer surveys. The program covers five key sectors: manufacturing, construction, consumers, retail trade, and services. Member states and candidate countries carry out these surveys monthly, using standardized questionnaires and a common timetable.
The E.U. defines retail trade as “goods mainly purchased and resold to the consumer or end-user, generally in small quantities and in the state in which they were purchased by the retailer (or following minor transformations).”
In July 2023 (PDF), business confidence in retail sales across the E.U. rebounded somewhat from the previous two months, indicating a more positive outlook. The graph below shows the overall average sentiment of respondents. The higher the number, the more positive the sentiment.
Moreover, employment plans among retail managers remained broadly unchanged in July 2023.