German retail sales gain 2.6 pct in January: statistics

3rd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

German retail sales gained 2.6 percent in January from the same month a year earlier at constant prices, and 3.8 percent in nominal terms, the federal statistics office said on Thursday.

On a monthly basis, retail sales were up by 1.4 percent and 1.3 percent respectively, a sign that consumption has begun to contribute to Germany's economic recovery alongside the traditional foundation provided by exports.

The annualised gain was in particular the result of stronger sales of non-food items, which gained 6.6 percent in nominal terms and 6.2 percent when tallied according to constant prices, the Destatis data showed.

German retail sales figures are calculated on the basis of data provided by six states that represent 66 percent of all sales, the Destatis office said.

In its latest survey of German consumer sentiment, the GfK research institute found it was set to edge higher this month owing to expectations of higher wages.

"The domestic economy, and in particular consumption, is playing an increasingly important role in macroeconomic development and acting as a second, strong supporting pillar" alongside exports, GfK said.

The number of unemployed in Germany dropped sharply last month as warmer temperatures and strong order books drove job creation in Europe's biggest economy.

© 2011 AFP

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