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Friday, May 2, 2008

German Retail Sales March 2008

Retail sales in Germany, Europe's largest economy, unexpectedly declined in March for a second month as accelerating inflation left consumers with less money. Sales, adjusted for inflation and seasonal swings, fell 0.1 percent from February, when they dropped 0.7 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. Year on year, sales fell 6.3 percent. It is important to remember at this point that the Easter week was in March this year. It will be important now to look at April sales.

According to provisional results of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), turnover in retail trade in Germany in March 2008 was in nominal terms 3.7% and in real terms 6.3% smaller than that of the corresponding month of the previous year. The number of days open for sale was 24 in March 2008 and 27 in March 2007.

When adjusted for calendar and seasonal variations (CENSUS-X-12-ARIMA), the March turnover was in nominal terms equal to that (0.0%) and in real terms 0.1% smaller than that of the preceding month.

Compared with the corresponding period of the previous year, retail turnover was in the first three months 2008 in nominal terms 1.3% larger and in real terms 1.2% smaller than that in the first three months of 2007.

Rising food and energy prices pushed German inflation to 3.3 percent in March, matching a 12-year high reached in November. German consumer prices, based on a harmonized European Union method, rose 2.6 percent in April from a year earlier. In Europe, inflation slowed more than economists forecast in April - to 3.3 percent (from 3.6 percent in March) the previous month, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat on April 30.

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