German retail sales fall by 1.9 percent

7th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

German retail sales slipped by a provisional 1.9 percent in November from the previous month, but gained up to 2.7 percent for 2010 as a whole, the national statistics office said on Friday.

The Destatis office estimated that retail sales in Germany, the biggest European economy, gained between 2.5 and 2.7 percent from the previous year despite the setback in November.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a monthly increase of 0.8 percent in November, and Destatis noted its figure could well be revised later and show a improved result.

Consumption has provided less support for the German economy than exports, and falling unemployment and higher wages have raised hopes that households will begin to save a bit less and spend more time in the shops.

But "private consumption is still having a hard time taking off," ING senior economist Carsten Brzeski said.

He noted strong new car registrations in December however and added: "The Christmas shopping season could still make up for today's disappointing retail sales."

© 2011 AFP

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