Retail sales fell a further 5% in volume terms in May, as the recession continued to affect consumer spending.
Turnover in the retail sector was down 0.6%, as higher prices helped offset some of the downturn in volume.
Last week, the Dutch retail trade called on the government to take steps to improve the climate for retailers and to boost poorly performing retail streets. Ministers immediately rejected calls for the 21% value added tax rate to be cut.
The national statistics office CBS also said on Monday that exports rose 0.7% in volume terms in May, not enough to offset the 2.2% drop in April. In particular, trade with non-EU countries has fallen considerably in value.
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