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German retail sales slump in October

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Friday 29 Nov 2019

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - German retail sales slumped in October, missing expectations, according to figures released by Destatis on Friday.
Retail sales fell 1.9% on the month following a revised no change reading for September, missing expectations for a 0.2% increase and marking the biggest decline since last December.

On the year, retail sales were up 0.8% last month following a 3.4% gain in September. Economists were expecting a 1.1% jump.

Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said this was "a nasty downside surprise but the consensus always looked hopelessly optimistic given the solid performance in the past few months in the face of soft survey data".

"The headline looks grim, but the October fall likely will be followed by a jump in November due to Black Friday sales. This event is a relatively new phenomenon in European markets, and the seasonals are still struggling to cope. For that reason, it is also a futile exercise to use these data to try to say anything about the Q4 data as a whole. We need to see the November report and revisions next month.

"Retail sales have been performing strongly in the last few quarters, reflected in a sharp acceleration in goods spending, but we fear that growth is now slowing. The October crash, however, almost surely is not representative of the overall trend."

ING economist Carsten Brzeski said: "While retail sales are often revised significantly in the second and third estimates, this reading is a cold shower for the German economy, giving a slightly different meaning to 'Black Friday'."