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Business

German Retail Sales Stagnate in September

German retail sales were unchanged in September from the previous month, as consumers in Europe's largest economy remained reluctant to go shopping. Sales dropped 0.4 percent from a year earlier, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said on Friday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News expected a 0.6 percent monthly gain and a drop of 1.1 percent in the year, the median of 13 forecasts showed. The HDE retail industry group expects sales to rise as much as 1 percent in 2004 after a decline by that amount this year. “Consumer spending doesn't seem to be taking off in a rush, so I remain a bit skeptical about how strong a recovery in the industry will be,” Stephan Rieke, an economist at ING-BHF Bank AG in Frankfurt, told Bloomberg.