German retail sales fall below expectations

Recently publicized volatile indicator from Federal Statistics Office of Eurozone’s largest economy, Germany indicates that the retail sales in the country has plummeted by 0.9 percent in December, despite predictions by the HDE retail association that holiday sales would help the sales to make a 0.5 percent rise. The figure, which is often adjusted later, has shown a fall of 1.7 percent sales drop in November. During 2016, retail sales in the country tripped by 1.1 percent in real terms, the data shows.

Meanwhile, the country has – for the first time since reunification in 1990- managed to keep the unemployment rate below 6 percent.  The total unemployment number has fallen to 26,000 in January 2017, against the economists’ prediction of a drop of 5000. The joblessness rate was found to be faster than forecast for December with a drop revised up to 20,000.

With an annual growth of 1.9 percent in 2016, the German economy recorded its best ever annual growth since 2011.  However, a breakdown of year-on-year data showed lower sales of food, drinks and tobacco in December, and weaker purchases of items such as books and jewellery. The statistics office reported earlier this month that retail sales rose between 1.8 percent and 2.1 percent in 2016 in real terms.