Tax-free shopping in Europe increased by 11 percent in the first nine months of 2017. This is what emerged in the recent data presented by Global Blue for Altagamma's annual monitor. The result reverses a slight decrease that had occurred last year. According to Global Blue's analysts, the growth is being driven by the economic recovery in most of the countries from which shoppers come, which adds to the good sales figures in key European countries.
The U.K. posted the highest increase, with tax-free shopping up by 22 percent between January and September as compared to same period in 2016, probably due to the attractiveness of the depreciated pound sterling. The rate of increase reached 18 percent in Spain, but only 7 percent in France.
Tax-free shopping in Italy grew by 8 percent, boosted by the return of Russian and Chinese shoppers, with purchases by these tourists up by 27 percent and 29 percent, respectively. The Chinese were, once again, the main tax-free shoppers in Italy during the nine-month period under consideration.
Global Blue estimates that the last quarter of the year will also be positive, especially in Spain and Italy, where tax-free shopping is expected to increase by 16 percent and 7 percent, respectively.