European Union (EU28) GDP growth slowed at the start of 2018 after a stronger than expected 2017, in a recovery phase after a decade of financial and economic crises. Most countries see their GDP growing at a slower pace this quarter. The more sluggish economic growth (+0.4%) in Q1 was related to some degree to cold weather but the consensus is that this is that start of a normalization of growth after a number of years of monetary stimulus by the ECB.
After a strong end to 2017, FMCG performance in Q1 weakened slightly with volume growth receding to +0.9% (down from +1.7% in Q4). However this is still close to the underlying trend of the last 12 months. Value sales across Europe increased by +3.7%, down from +4.4% in Q4. There was also a growth upside in Q1 from an early Easter in 2018 (calendar effect). A few markets lead growth in the region, like Germany (+4.4%) and Portugal (+4.1%) with solid growth in value.
The Swiss FMCG sector has seen similar trends this quarter to those experienced in 2017. There was some slight growth in average price levels amidst declines in volume. This translates into - 0.6% sales decline.
The Nielsen Growth Reporter compares overall market dynamics (value and unit growth) in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods sector across Europe. Is based on the sales tracking Nielsen performs in every European market. It covers sales in grocery, hypermarket, supermarket, discount and convenience channels. It is based on the widest possible basket of product categories that are continuously tracked by Nielsen in each of these countries and channels.
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