German Retail Sales Fell In March

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The FINANCIAL — German retail sales fell unexpectedly in March from the previous month, extending a smaller decline seen in February, the Federal Statistics Office said on April 30, according to Nasdaq.

Retail sales in March fell by 2.3% in real adjusted terms compared with February, the statistics office Destatis said. This is significantly weaker than the prediction by economists in a Dow Jones Newswires survey for a 0.4% increase on the month.

Nonetheless, German retail sales are a volatile indicator, prone to large revisions. Hence, analysts consider the monthly numbers with caution and look instead at three-month averages.

On annual basis, retail sales expanded by 3.5% in real terms in March, Destatis said.

In the first three months of the year, retail sales were up 3.6% in real terms compared with the same period of last year, it added.

The most recent set of German consumer confidence data published by GfK market research group on April 23 forecast the forward-looking sentiment index to rise to 10.1 points in May from 10.0 points in April, marginally undershooting economists’ expectations. The economic expectations and willingness-to-buy sub-indices, which refer to the current month of April, however, declined, indicating some signs of consolidation.

GfK said at the time of the data release that “it is possible that consumers are beginning to respond to the continued uncertainty on the future of Greece, especially a potential Grexit,” a reference to the possibility of Greece leaving the eurozone.


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