Euro area (EA17) retail sales volume increased 0.3% in March 2012, compared with the previous month, according to the data released by statistical office Eurostat.
In March 2012, the volume of retail sales was up 0.7% in the European Union (EU27), compared to the previous month.
Retail sales decreased 0.2% in euro area and declined 0.5% in EU27 in February from January 2012.
Month-on-month, food, drinks and tobacco sales remained stable in both the euro area and the EU27 in March.
During the same period, sales in non food sector increased 0.1% in euro area and advanced 0.6% in EU27.
Among the member states for which data are available, total retail sales grew in ten, fell in nine and remained stable in Ireland and Sweden.
The highest increases were recorded in Bulgaria, Poland, Austria and the UK, where sales rose 3.9%, 2.6%, 1.9% and 1.9%, respectively.
The largest decreases were registered in Portugal, Estonia and Slovenia, where sales declined 2.2%, 2% and 1.4%, respectively.
Retail sales index dropped 0.2% in the euro area, but grew 1% in the EU27 in March 2012, compared with March 2011.
Year-on-year, food, drinks and tobacco sales fell 0.3% in the euro area and remained stable in the EU27 in March.
Sales in non food sector increased 0.3% in the euro area and advanced 2.2% in EU27 in March, on an annual basis.
Among the member states for which data are available, total retail sales grew in 15 and edged down in six, year-on-year in March.
The highest increases were seen in Latvia, Estonia and Luxembourg, where sales were up 10%, 9.3% and 7.2%, respectively.
The largest decreases were recorded in Portugal, Spain and Malta, where sales were down 5%, 3.9% and 2.7%, respectively.