Retail sales in the Netherlands rose by 2.7% in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period a year ago. But there was a sharp decline in retailer confidence at the same time, the national statistics office CBS said on Tuesday.
Shop owner confidence at the beginning of the second quarter was substantially lower than at the start of 2018, as the indicator fell back to 2.4 from 14.8, the CBS said.
Supermarkets, drug stores and furniture stores benefited the most in the first three months of the year, while sales at clothing, electronics and toy stores were less buoyant, the CBS said.
Retail sales have increased for 17 consecutive quarters, peaking at 5% in the third quarter of 2017.
Sales over the internet soared by 21.7% in the first quarter of the year. Growth at multi-channel operations where web operations are secondary to the bricks-and-mortar stores were 25.8% higher than the year-earlier period while web-only shops saw a 19.3% increase.
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