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Business

Spending Drop Hurts German Retailers

Consumers in Germany held their purse strings tighter in 2002, precipitating a 3.5 percent decrease in revenues in the country’s retail sector. On Thursday, the German Retailers Association reported an estimated 30,000 positions had been cut as a result of the drop in spending and that total retail-sector revenues sank to 365 billion euros ($392.4 billion) for the year. “This is the largest drop we’ve had in post-war history,” said Hubertus Pellengahr, the organization’s spokesman. Especially hard hit by the crisis were specialty stores, with revenues decreased by 6.3 percent, department stores (5 percent) and supermarkets (4.4 percent).