Germany released retail sales data for the month of December this morning, and the numbers came in much worse than expected.
Sales fell 1.7 per cent in December from the previous month. Economists were expecting a smaller loss of 0.1 per cent after sales expanded 0.6 per cent in November.
Year-over-year, December retail sales were down 4.7 per cent – well below the 1.5 per cent decline predicted by economists and last month’s -0.6 per cent figure.
Deutsche Bank economists Oliver Rakau and Stefan Schneider suggest that the recent uptick in consumer confidence could see these retail sales figures revised up:
Photo: Destatis, European Commission, Gfk, DB Research
The Deutsche Bank economists write, “The same happened recently with sales in October which were revised from an initial -2.8% mum to currently -0.9%.”
Below is the full text from the release:
WIESBADEN – According to provisional results of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), retail turnover in December 2012 in Germany decreased 1.9% in nominal terms and 4.7% in real terms compared with the corresponding month of the previous year. The number of days open for sale was 24 in December 2012 and 26 in December 2011.
When adjusted for calendar and seasonal variations (CENSUS-X-12-ARIMA), the December turnover was in nominal terms 2.0% and in real terms 1.7% smaller than that in November 2012.
Compared with the previous year, turnover in retail trade was in the whole year 2012 in nominal terms 1.9% larger and in real terms 0.3% smaller.
However, Germany also reported an unexpected drop in unemployment this morning. The German DAX is trading lower, but it’s not falling as much as the rest of its European counterparts this morning.