Euro zone retail sales rose very slightly in October, broadly in line with expectations, after three consecutive months of decline, suggesting that consumer spending will provide at most a modest boost to economic growth.

The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said on Wednesday that retail sales in the 20 countries sharing the euro rose 0.1% month-on-month in October to a level 1.2% lower than a year earlier.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a monthly rise of 0.2% and a 1.1% year-on-year decline.

The monthly rise, after declines in July, August and September, was due to a 2.2% increase in mail order and Internet sales, helping non-food sales rise by 0.8%.

Food, drink and tobacco sales were down 1.1%, while sales of automotive fuels were 0.8% lower.

Year-on-year, food and fuel sales were markedly lower. Non-food goods sales were 0.1% higher.

The euro zone economy shrank by 0.1% in the three months to September, with initial surveys and data indicating the bloc will contract again this quarter.


For further details of Eurostat data click on: (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop)