German retail sales leave contraction zone | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 30.09.2013
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German retail sales leave contraction zone

Retailers in Germany have experienced first signs of a nascent recovery after two months of contracting sales across Europe's biggest economy. There was more to come as consumer confidence pointed upwards.

German retail sales ended a two-month period of contraction, the National Statistics Office (Destatis) reported Monday.

It said sales expanded by 0.5 percent in August on a month-on-month basis in price, calendar and seasonally adjusted terms. The improvement came on the back of a 0.2-percent contraction in July and an even stronger 1.1-percent setback in June.

Business also improved for retailers in a year-on-year comparison, with sales showing a modest adjusted 0.3-percent increase in August compared with the results logged in the same month a year earlier.

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German consumer confidence up again

Destatis said the monthly rise was first and foremost attributable to a 5.5-percent sales surge in the clothing, shoes and leatherwear sectors. Strong business was also reported in the food and beverages as well as the tobacco segment.

By contrast, books and jewelry didn't sell well, nor did furniture and household appliances. Together, the sectors logged a 4.6-percent decline in the month under revision.

The national retail lobbying group HDE said it expected sales to rise by 1 percent throughout the current year, hoping for good business after market researchers showed last week consumer confidence in the country had reached a six-year high.

hg/hc (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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