Retail sales in the Euro economic bloc recorded moderate improvement over the month of December according to the report from the European Statistics Office, logging gains of 0.30%, outpacing November’s -0.30% contraction by a wide margin. This figure marked the first increase in 4-months after food products alongside drinks and tobacco experienced an uptick of 0.60% whereas non-food products rose by 0.20%. Energy remained a drag with fuel sales for automobiles declining by -0.10%. Annualized retail sales rose by 1.40% in December, pulling back slightly from 1.60% in November. According to Euro Stat, seasonal factors such as the holidays helped grow consumption while the bigger picture gains reflect the gradual improvement in the labor market. The total average of retail sales for the year of 2015 reported a growth of 2.40%. The Euro gained further ground versus the US dollar, extending the recent rally briefly back above 1.1100 before pulling back slightly.