German Retail Sales Unexpectedly Fall In July
Germany's retail sales declined for a second straight month in
July, defying expectations for a rebound after the coronavirus
pandemic-related lockdown curbs were eased, preliminary data from
the Federal Statistical Office showed on Wednesday.
Retail sales fell 0.9 percent month-on-month, while economists
had forecast a 0.5 percent increase.
The decline for June was revised to 1.9 percent from 1.6
On a year-on-year basis, retail sales grew 4.2 percent in July
after a 6.7 percent gain in June, which was revised from 5.9
percent. Compared to February 2020, the month before the outbreak
of Covid-19 in Germany, the turnover in July 2020 was 0.9 percent
higher, Destatis said.
Sales of food, beverages and tobacco grew 4.2 percent
year-on-year and non-food sales increased 4.4 percent. Sales in
supermarkets, self-service department stores and hypermarkets rose
4.6 percent. Retail sales of food, beverages and tobacco in
specialized stores grew 0.4 percent, the first increase since the
beginning of the pandemic in March.
Internet and mail order business logged the biggest increase in
the non-food sector with an annual growth of 15.6 percent.
Sales of furniture, household appliances and building materials
also increased significantly, up 12.9 percent.
Meanwhile, sales of textiles, clothing, shoes and leather goods
and those of other goods in department stores decreased 8 percent
and 14.5 percent, respectively.
Germany's consumer confidence is set to weaken in September
after three months of improvement, as income expectations
deteriorated, survey data from the market researcher GfK showed
"An increase in the number of infections and the fear
that coronavirus-related restrictions will be further
tightened are creating uncertainty and consequently dampening the
mood," Gfk said.
The reduction in value added tax (VAT) which came into effect in
Germany on July 1 may be boosting propensity to consume but has not
yet been able to provide a stronger stimulus, the firm added.