Retail sales in Germany fell slightly in July, even as consumer sentiment in the euro zone's biggest economy appeared to be improving, data showed on Wednesday. German retail sales slipped by 0.6 percent month-on-month in July in seasonally, price and calendar-adjusted terms, the federal statistics office, Destatis, calculated in a statement. In June, retail sales had also slipped by 0.7 percent month-on-month. On a 12-month basis, German retailers reported a decline in business of 3.0 percent in July. But that was largely because there was one less shopping day in July this year than in July 2004, the statisticians noted. However, taking the first seven months of 2005 as a whole, retail sales rose by a nominal 0.8 percent on a 12-month basis and were up by 0.5 percent in real or price-adjusted terms, Destatis said. The retail sales data appear to dampen somewhat the hopes for a pick-up in consumer demand following the recent improvement in consumer sentiment. On Monday, the market research group GfK had found that, with just three weeks to go before general elections, consumer sentiment is finally on the up.