The recession and high joblessness continues to squeeze pockets and hammer spending further depriving the economy of positive momentum. Euro area retail sales contracted in February yet after a strong upwardly revised start of the year.

Retail sales dropped 0.1% in February slightly better than the expected 0.2% drop yet were far worse than the previously revised gain of 1.1% from 0.3% gain.

On the year, sales were down 2.1% much below the expected drop of 1.1% and after the revised January drop of 1.1% from steady.