A report from e-payment specialists PPRO highlights the healthy economy in Western Europe and growth of online sales, while the UK experiences a slowdown as it faces Brexit challenges. The Payments & E-commerce Report: Western Europe provides country profiles for 15 countries, with data on payments and card use and e-commerce growth. The report found that the business climate in Western Europe is far more positive than some of the predictions that came out of the tumultuous events of last year.
Some of the encouraging economic signals coming from Western Europe this year include:
- the value of goods sold online in Europe in 2017 is expected to reach €602 billion, an increase of 15% compared to the previous year (according to the E-commerce Foundation);
- the value of goods sold in the EU rose by 2.5 per cent between 2015 and 2016 (according to Eurostat);
- e-commerce is forecasted to account for 11.4 per cent of all sales in Western Europe by 2021, up from 8.8 per cent today (according to eMarketer).
Western Europe has a healthy economic outlook, which dispels some of the more gloomy predictions that were made during the UK's referendum campaign. The UK, however, despite being the world’s third-largest e-commerce market behind the US and China, is showing some signs of a slowdown:
- car sales, which are rising in Europe, fell by 9 per cent in the UK last year;
- in the second quarter of 2017, the Eurozone economy expanded at twice the rate of the UK’s;
- the UK's growth in consumer spending slowed to 0.1 per cent, the slowest since 2014.
And despite the UK's current challenge in restoring business confidence in its economy and completing the Brexit negotiations in a satisfactory way, it is still above the average for Western Europe in terms of business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce growth, credit card use, Internet penetration and smartphone use, as shown in the figures below (PPRO figures, showing UK statistics compared to World and Western Europe):
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