German retail sales grow for fifth year in row: data

30th January 2015, Comments 0 comments

German retail sales, a closely watched measure of household confidence, showed solid growth last year compared to 2013 despite rounding off the year with a modest rise, data showed Friday.

The 1.4-percent increase for 2014 as a whole marked the fifth consecutive year that German retailers posted real and nominal year-on-year sales increases, the federal statistics office Destatis said in a statement.

Retailers' sales went up by 0.2 percent in December compared to the previous month when they rose by 0.9 percent, the statisticians said.

Retail sales data are subject to frequent revision.

"Average monthly retail sales in the fourth quarter rose by a whopping 1.6 percent over the third quarter average, suggesting that consumption made a major contribution to GDP growth in the fourth quarter," said analyst Christian Schulz at Berenberg bank.

A poll this week found that consumer confidence in Germany was at its highest since late 2001, as rising optimism over the economy and income expectations persuade German shoppers to open their wallets.

The German government has raised its forecast for economic growth this year to 1.5 percent.

© 2015 AFP

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