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German Retail Sales Growth Beats Forecast


Retail sales in Germany topped expectations in November as higher income expectations and unemployment, that is close to a two-decade low, boosted consumer spending.

Sales increased 1.2 percent month-on-month on a seasonally-and-calendar adjusted basis in November, recovering from a 1.3 percent decline in the previous month. The outcome was better than the expected 0.8 percent growth.

On an annual basis, retail sales declined 0.9 percent, which was less than the 1.6 percent drop forecast by economists. Sales were up 0.2 percent year-on-year in October.

Based on data for the first 11 months of last year, retail sales are estimated to have fallen between 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent in 2012 as a whole compared to the previous year, the statistical agency said.

The Federal Labor Agency announced yesterday that Germany's unemployment rate remained steady at 6.9 percent in December, close to a two-decade low.

The Bundesbank said in December that it expects the economy to expand this year after contracting notably at the end of 2012. The central bank slashed its 2013 growth forecast to 0.4 percent from 1.6 percent.

A survey by market research group GfK showed last month that consumers' income expectations increased in December. GfK forecasts a decline in consumer sentiment in January due to weak outlook on economy. Germans were a little more cautious about purchasing consumer durables, according to the survey.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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