In-store sales in Italy went up in February, just before the entire country went into lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Italian statistics office reported this. Italians started hoarding groceries ahead of quarantine measures.
According to the statistics agency, retail sales increased by 0.8 percent compared to a month earlier. Both sales of food and non-food products increased. Economists had expected a drop in retail sales.
The nationwide lockdown was announced by the Italian government on March 9, after far-reaching emergency measures were taken in the northern region of Lombardy. Many stores are now closed. Emergency measures for Italy may be extended to May 4.
Compared to a year earlier, store sales in Italy increased by 5.7 percent. In particular, sales of food and other foodstuffs were clearly on the rise. But household products such as toilet paper and cleaning products were also clearly sold more.