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Business

German Retailers Forecast Decline in 2005

Retailers in Germany are forecasting a further contraction in business this year for the fourth year in a row in face of sluggish consumer demand, the HDE industry federation said on Thursday. HDE is pencilling in a decline of 0.5-0.75 percent in sector-wide sales this year, association president Hermann Franzen said. "According to our cautious estimates, we're facing our fourth negative year in a row," Franzen said. Last year, German retailers booked a 1.6-percent decline in sales to 365 billion euros ($471 billion). "2005 has gotten off to a weak start. But things have not been so bad since March, and spring is even in the air in the clothing sector, which has been in the doldrums for years," the HDE chief said

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