German retail sales slip by 0.2 percent in August: data
German retail sales showed a surprise drop of 0.2 percent in August from the previous month, according to provisional, seasonally-corrected figures released Friday by the national statistics office.
It was the second fall in a row, following a 0.4 percent slide in July and cast doubt on the strength of recovery in traditionally reticent German consumption.
Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast an increase of 0.5 percent on the month.
On an annual basis however, retail sales in the biggest European economy gained 2.2 percent, the Destatis data showed.
Despite a continued economic rebound encouraging falls in unemployment, and a rise in consumer sentiment, shoppers are nonetheless still slow to dig out their wallets and purses.
The biggest declines were seen in food and drinks, which lost 2.0 percent on the year, while non-food sales gained 5.3 percent, including the largest increase in textile sales on record.
In the first eight months of the year, retail sales gained 0.9 percent from the same period of 2009.
The medium-term measure is considered more reliable than monthly data, which are often revised later on.
On Tuesday the GfK research institute said its survey of consumer confidence had reached a three-year high owing in large part to steady improvements in the labour market.
And last week, the German retail federation HDE estimated the sector would perform well this year, with a 1.5 percent increase in nominal sales, compared with its previous forecast for no change.
© 2010 AFP