Retail sales in Germany strongly rebounded in May, ending three months of slumping, official figures have shown. Germans are returning to shops motivated by rising incomes and reducing fears for their jobs.
Retail shops in Europe's biggest economy sold 0.8 percent more in May compared with the previous month of April, the latest figures released by the German Federal Statistics Office, Destatis, showed on Friday.
The rise surprised economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires who had forecast a drop by 0.3 percent on the back of declining retail sales in the previous three months.
Year-on-year, the May figure, which is adjusted for inflation, climbed 0.4 percent as Germans increased spending on food, beverages and tobacco, Destatis data showed. Nonfood supplies, however, slipped over the past 12 months.
Describing the sector as on course, the retail lobby group HDE reported that it expected an overall rise in sales of 1 percent this year amid further brightening consumer sentiment and a robust labor market in Germany.
On Thursday, unemployment figures for June showed the jobless rate in Germany falling further as 12,000 people more had found jobs. Moreover, the GfK consumer confidence index for July surged to its highest level in six years.
uhe/mkg (AFP, dpa, AP)