The volume or retail trade registered a sharp drop of 25 percent from March to April, the largest decrease among European Union members. Figures by Eurostat reveal that retail trade fell by 11 percent in the EU as a whole and by 11.7 in the euro area.
In March, when the closure of non-essential business was introduced, the retail sector in Malta slipped by 1.1 percent, significantly less than the 10.1 percent dip experienced across the EU. However, compared with April 2019 Malta registered one of the biggest declines among member states as trade volume fell by 24.8 percent; less than France (-31.1%) and Spain (-29.8%) but more than Luxembourg (-24.7%) and Croatia (-24.0%).
The main contributor to the month-on-month decrease in the EU27 was the automotive fuels category and the clothing and footwear category which slid by 25 percent and 21 percent, respectively. On the other hand, trade volume in mail order and internet increased by 11.9 percent. Compared with April 2019, this category rose 25 percent – the only one to register a gain except for food, drinks, and tobacco (+1.4%) over a year.