German retailers are optimistic about the New Year. "This year's Christmas sales showed a clear change of direction in terms of consumer behavior," said Hubertus Pellengahr of the German Retailers Association. While he didn't release any exact figures, he said sales rose in November and December from the previous year. The last shopping of the year isn't likely to change anything because people are just buying food and New Year articles, he said. But he praised Germans' shopping habits in the weeks leading up to Christms, saying "Germans have shown they haven't forgotten how to shop."