BERLIN May 31 German retail sales unexpectedly
fell in April, data showed on Wednesday, dampening hopes that
private consumption will propel growth in Europe's largest
economy this year.
The volatile indicator, which is often subject to revision,
showed retail sales dropped by 0.2 percent on the month in real
terms, the Federal Statistics Office said. That confounded
forecasts for a 0.2 percent rise and came after an upwardly
revised increase of 0.2 percent in March.
On the year, shops saw sales decline by 0.9 percent in
April, contrasting with the consensus forecast for a 2.3 percent
The German economy was for years powered by exports but
consumption was a key source of growth last year and is also
expected to play an important role this year as traditionally
thrifty Germans spend. They are benefiting from record-high
employment, a robust labour market, rising wages and low
The retail sales data comes on the heels of a GfK survey
that showed German consumer sentiment at its best in almost 16
years heading into June.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Madeline Chambers)