Retail sales fall sharply in Germany in January
FRANKFURT - Associated French Press
A woman walks past a shop window advertising a sale in the southern German city of Munich on Jan. 30. AA photoRetail sales in Germany fell sharply in January, disappointing analysts’ forecasts for a modest rise, official data showed on Mar. 2.
Retail sales dropped by 1.6 percent in January compared with December in price, seasonally and calendar-adjusted terms, according to provisional figures by the federal statistics office Destatis.
Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected an increase of 0.3 percent for January. On a 12-month basis, however, retail sales rose by 1.6 percent in January, the statisticians calculated.
Monthly retail sales data are volatile and subject to frequent revision.
According to the closely-watched GfK survey, consumer confidence in Germany hit its highest level in a year this month, fuelled by households’ rising income expectations despite the eurozone debt crisis.
Meanwhile, Spain’s jobless numbers shot to a new record high in February, government figures showed on Mar. 2 as people struggled in vain to find work in the recession-bound economy.
The number of job seekers surged 2.44 percent from the previous month to 4.71 million people.