German retail sales slip by 0.2% in July: statistics

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Retail sales in Germany, the biggest European economy, slipped by a nominal 0.2 percent in July from the previous month, data released Wednesday by the national statistics office showed.

Seasonally adjusted sales were flat on the month, the Destatis office said, after leaping in June by a revised 4.5 percent.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a seasonally-adjusted drop of 2.0 percent on the month, but economists agree the indicator is very volatile and subject to frequent revisions.

On a 12-month basis, nominal retail sales fell by 0.4 percent in July, and were 1.6 percent lower on an adjusted basis, but the Destatis office also noted that there were 26 business days in July 2011, compared with 27 in July 2010.

Last week, the latest survey by the GfK research institute found that German consumer sentiment has been hit by the trans-Atlantic debt crisis and fears of a new recession, falling to its lowest level since late last year.

Across the 17-nation eurozone, consumer and business confidence fell for the sixth month running in August, a European Union survey showed on Tuesday, with Germany reporting the biggest decline.

A long-awaited consumer awakening that the German government would like to contribute to overall growth thus seems to be delayed yet again.

© 2011 AFP

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