BERLIN, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Germany's HDE retail association said on Thursday it expected retail sales in Europe's largest economy to grow by a nominal 1.5 percent to a record 80.4 billion euros in the key Christmas season.
HDE also confirmed its forecast for retail sales to have risen 1.5 percent in 2012 in nominal terms, while falling 0.5 percent in real terms.
"The figures show that the branch is in a robust state despite some worries about the economy," said HDE President Josef Sanktjohanser.
Sanktjohanser said, however, rising energy prices were dampening consumption by reducing purchasing power, as well as hitting company overheads. "Energy prices are becoming ever more a real problem for Germany's economic development," he said. (Reporting By Rene Wagner, Writing by Sarah Marsh)