German retailers have been able to increase their turnover considerably in the first weeks of the new year. The stats office says the boost in sales comes amid lower consumer prices and strong consumption.
German retail sales, a closely watched measure of household confidence, rose strongly in January, the National Statistics Office, Destatis, reported Tuesday.
Adjusted for inflation, revenue was up by 5.3 percent on a 12-month basis, marking the biggest jump since June 2010 and beating analysts' expectations by a wide margin.
January retail turnover climbed by 2.9 percent month-on-month, supporting predictions by the HDE industry association, which had forecast a 1.5-percent increase in sales for the whole of 2015, following a 1.8-percent rise in the previous year.
Current indicators have revealed an upward trend. GfK market researchers say Germans' spending mood hasn't been so good for a long time, with the group's consumer confidence barometer at a level not reached since October 2001.
Retailers have profited from a very robust labor market in Europe's powerhouse, with Germany currently posting the lowest jobless rate in the 19-member eurozone.
Also, consumers are left with more in their pockets because of a real drop in prices, spurred by continuously low oil and hence fuel prices, Destatis notes.
hg/pad (Reuters, AFP)