Euro-zone retail sales rise 0.4%; GDP unrevised (by William L. Watts)
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Retail sales in the euro zone saw a monthly rise of 0.4% in January and were up 0.7% compared to the same month last year, the European Union statistics agency Eurostat reported Thursday. Economists had forecast a 0.3% monthly rise and a flat reading compared to January 2010. December sales were revised up to show a 0.4% monthly decline and a 0.4% year-on-year fall, compared to an earlier estimate of a 0.6% monthly fall and 0.9% year-on-year drop. Separately, Eurostat made no change to its estimate of euro-zone fourth-quarter gross domestic product. GDP expanded by 0.3% compared to the previous quarter and was up 2% compared to the same period in 2009.