German retail sales down in February

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Frankfurt / AFP

German retail sales, a closely watched measure of household confidence, declined in February, as consumer morale in Europe’s top economy feels the heat from global economic risks, official data showed on Thursday.
Retailers’ sales fell by 0.4 percent in February compared with January, the federal statistics office Destatis said in a statement.
The previous month, retail sales had eased by 0.1 percent.
On a 12-month basis, however, business increased, jumping by 5.7 percent in February compared with the same month last year, the statisticians calculated.
But that was because February 2016 had one more shopping day than February 2015, they noted.
Last week, a leading consumer sentiment survey, conducted by the GfK market research institute, found that consumer confidence is beginning to fade in view of terror warnings and economic uncertainties regarding the massive influx of refugees.
However, according to Euromonitor International, Retailing in Germany showed stable value growth last year. Despite the continued euro crisis, geopolitical tensions and wars in Eastern Ukraine and the Middle East, the refugee crisis, as well as the stock exchange crisis in China, retailing in Germany continued to show healthy value growth in 2015.
This was very much driven by low unemployment and rising annual disposable incomes. The most dynamic channel continued to be internet retailing. Within internet retailing, mobile internet retailing saw further growth in popularity, providing a boost to sales. Store-based retailing also proved to be resilient and stable, with modern grocery retailers and non-grocery specialists both demonstrating healthy value growth.

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