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After four straight years of declines, retail sales in France will register a modest increase, eMarketer predicts.
The gain is small, 0.7%, but it stems a series of declines dating back to 2012, the last year the measure showed a gain. The declines—and next year’s projected gain—mainly reflect fluctuations in oil prices. In fact, some macroeconomic factors such as employment are likely to hold back retail sales. The impact of those factors, however, is masked by rising energy prices.
According to eMarketer’s projection, part of its latest package of estimates for worldwide retail and ecommerce sales, total retail sales in France will reach €555 billion ($615 billion) next year.
While overall retail sales have edged lower in recent years, digital shopping in France has posted double-digit increases. eMarketer estimates that the retail ecommerce market will be worth €34.74 billion ($38.5 billion) 2016, or 6.3% of total retail sales, growing to 6.8% in 2017. By 2020, the end of the forecast period, eMarketer predicts ecommerce sales will account for 8.1% of all retail sales in France.
Mobile commerce is growing rapidly as well. By 2020 mobile will account for more than a third of all digital sales transactions in France.
“Like other large Western European markets, France has seen retail sales reduced in value due to the relatively low price of oil,” said Monica Peart, forecasting director at eMarketer. “2017 is widely expected to show returns to positive territory with oil prices rising moderately. Meanwhile, consumer confidence continues to be suppressed by high and rising unemployment, a factor that is expected to keep any economic rebound somewhat muted.”
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