German retail sales rise for third month
2 March 2004 , FRANKFURT - German retail sales rose for the first month in three in January as tax cuts introduced at the start the year helped to encourage consumers to open up their wallets.
2 March 2004
FRANKFURT - German retail sales rose for the first month in three in January as tax cuts introduced at the start the year helped to encourage consumers to open up their wallets.
After dropping by an upwardly revised 1.1 per cent in December, sales (including cars) rose 1.5 percent in January, according to data released Tuesday by the country’s central bank, the Bundesbank.
The figures, which are adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation beat economists’ forecasts, helped to boost hopes that Europe’s biggest economy is on the path to recovery.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s ruling Social Democrats cut taxes in a bid to boost consumer spending and to help haul the nation out of three years of economic stagnation.
But with record high unemployment economists have been concerned that consumers might not add to the pickup in growth and chose not to return to the nation’s shops, showrooms and malls.
Moreover economists were worried that the tax cuts might increased medical charges that were also introduced at the start of the year as part of the government’s healthcare reforms.
This was particularly the case as concerns have grown that the euro’s recent strong performance might dampen export growth and consequently derail the nation’s recovery.
Copyright Expatica 2004
Subject: German news