German retail sales fall far less than expected in April

Customers, wearing face masks, shop for fruits and vegetables at Margaretenhof organic farm in Moers, Germany. EPA-EFE/SASCHA STEINBACH

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German retail sales fell at their fastest pace since 2007 in April, data showed on Friday, but the drop was not as steep as expected in a sign of the relative resilience of Europe’s largest economy during the coronavirus crisis.

Retail sales dropped by 5.3% on the month in real terms after an upwardly revised drop of 4.0% in the previous month, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed. The reading was much better than a Reuters forecast of analysts for a 12% fall.

On the year, retail sales dropped by 6.5% in real terms after an upwardly revised contraction of 1.2% in March. A drop of 14.3% had been forecast.

Retail sales are a volatile indicator often subject to revision.

The figures are another indication that Europe’s largest economy is weathering the pandemic better than its neighbours and that consumption could rebound in the coming months as economic and social life returns to normal.

Separate data from the Federal Statistics Office showed negotiated wages rose by 3.2% on average in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.

Via Reuters

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