Retail Sales Slow in Germany

05 August 2008

WIESBADEN: Retail sales in Germany – Europe's biggest economy – fell by 1.4% month-on-month in June, according to figures released by the country's Federal Statistics Office.

According to the data, drawn from seven of the country's 16 states, retail trade fell by 3.9% in real terms year-on-year, or 1.2% in nominal terms.

A recent survey by GfK reported that German consumer confidence was at its lowest level in five years, with inflation cited as the main cause for the downturn, which has seen food spending dip by 7%.

According to Commerzbank analyst Matthias Rubisch, "soaring energy and food prices are robbing households of their purchasing power."

The European Central Bank has reported that disposable income rose by 3.4% across the Eurozone in Q1 – approximately 1.2% down on figures from the last quarter of 2007 – with consumption growth rising to 4.1% from 3.8%.

The savings rate, however, fell to minus 2.8% from 12.6%, but inflation also reached a record 4.1% in July, meaning consumer spending has tailed-off.

Data sourced from Deutsche Welle (Germany); additional content by WARC staff