May 29 (Reuters) – Spanish retail sales fell 9.8 percent year-on-year in April on a calendar-adjusted basis, official data showed on Tuesday, 6 percentage points greater than the revised fall of 3.8 percent in March.
The data from the National Statistics Institute marked the 22nd month in a row of falling retail sales data and was the greatest fall since the series started in 2003.
Without adjusting for calendar effects, retail sales fell 11.3% in April having dropped 4% in March.
It is the latest bad news from the Spanish economy, which saw the level of risk attached to its government bonds hitting record levels on Monday after it emerged on Friday that banking group Bankia was going to need a bigger bail-out than had been expected.
Spanish shoppers are being discouraged by government austerity measures, rising taxes and Europe’s highest rate of unemployment.
Employment in the retail sector was down 1.2% in April from the same month in 2011.
The unemployment rate is over 24%, while the economy is back in recession having contracted in the last three months of 2011 and the first three months of 2012.
On Tuesday, a report from the Bank of Spain predicted that the recession would continue in the second quarter of 2012.