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Coronavirus gives German bicycle retailers a boost

FILE PHOTO: A man on a bicycle is wearing a protective mask in Dresden, Germany, April 20, 2020. REUTERS/Matthias Rietschel/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - The COVID-19 pandemic is giving German bicycle retailers a boost as consumers avoid public transport because of the risk of infection, the Ifo economic institute said on Thursday.

The index for business sentiment among bicycle retailers rose to 95 on a scale of 100, meaning nearly all firms in the sector were satisfied with their current situation, Ifo said.

“Bicycle dealers are experiencing a real boom,” Ifo economist Klaus Wohlrabe said.

Other retailers doing relatively well during the pandemic include construction and DIY superstores, as well as food and delicatessen shops, the survey showed.

The biggest losers in the crisis are clothing and shoe retailers, as well as car dealers. “For car dealers, things were already really bad before the crisis, and now they are getting out of the coronavirus slump rather slowly,” Wohlrabe said.

The German economy, Europe’s largest, contracted at its steepest rate on record in the second quarter as consumer spending, company investment and trade all collapsed during the peak of the pandemic.

But sentiment surveys and recent economic data point to a quick, V-shaped recovery as long as another big wave of new infections and a nationwide lockdown can be avoided.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by David Holmes

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