BERLIN, March 3 German retail sales fell
unexpectedly in January, data showed on Friday.
The volatile indicator, which is often subject to revision,
showed retail sales fell by 0.8 percent on the month in real
terms, the Federal Statistics Office said.
This followed a revised December figure for unchanged sales
from an initial drop of 0.9 percent. The January figure came in
sharp contrast to a Reuters consensus forecast for a 0.2 percent
On the year, retail sales edged up by 2.3 percent in real
terms, the data showed.
A breakdown of the year-on-year data showed that sales in
all branches had risen in January, except for textiles,
clothing, and shoes as well as sales at department stores.
The data came after a survey by the GfK research group last
week showed the mood among German consumers had worsened more
than expected heading into March to reach its lowest level in
Record-high employment, increased job security, rising real
wages and ultra-low borrowing costs have boosted the spending
power of Germans, turning consumption into the main driver of
growth in a traditionally export-driven economy.
(Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Hugh Lawson)