The year 2018 was a weak year for retail trade in Spain. In the whole of the year, eliminating seasonal and calendar effects, barely grew by 0.7%. It is the lowest rate since 2013, when the index closed a streak of six consecutive years of falls and started the post-crisis comeback. Since then, it has been growing for five years, although there has been a clear slowdown. The occupation in the sector grew 1% in the whole of the year, two tenths less than last year. Even so, it entails 56 consecutive months of job creation.
The figures of the retail trade of 2018 are somewhat ballasted by a bad month of December. As in 2017, December registered a decrease in sales compared to November, which indicates that the Christmas shopping campaign seems to get ahead of November, for the Black Friday offers. Thus, the turnover of stores decreased by 0.6% in December compared to the previous month. And if the refueling at service stations is eliminated from the equation, the monthly fall is 1.4%. Sales in food (0.2%) and in the rest of goods were reduced: in personal equipment (clothing, basically), by 0.8% and in household equipment, by 3.2%.
With these monthly decreases, the annual rate – December against December – remains at 0.8%, three tenths less than in November and less than half that in October (1.9%). The annual rate, in any case, has fluctuated considerably throughout the year. It started at 2.2% in January and went down to a negative in May. It oscillated up and down about 0% until shooting up 1.9% in October and since then it has been losing steam until December's 0.8%.