World Economy

German Retail Sales Grow Faster Than Expected

German Retail Sales Grow Faster Than ExpectedGerman Retail Sales Grow Faster Than Expected

German retail sales rose faster than expected in April, supporting views that private consumption is likely to remain a solid pillar to economic growth in Europe's largest economy. Retail sales in April increased 1.7% in real adjusted terms compared with March, statistics office Destatis said Friday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal predicted a 1.0% increase, MarketWatch reported.

German retail sales are a volatile indicator, and are prone to large revisions. Economists treat the monthly numbers with caution and place more importance on three-month averages. On an annual basis, retail sales expanded 1.0% in real terms in April, Destatis said. In the first four months of the year, retail sales were up 3.1% in real terms compared with a year earlier, the statistics office said.

The most recent German consumer sentiment data by market research group GfK predicted its forward-looking confidence index to rise to 10.2 points in June from 10.1 points in May, beating economists' forecast of a decline to 10.0 points.

The "willingness-to-buy" subindex, which refers to the current month, gained 4.3 points to 62.6 points, GfK said on Wednesday, adding that while that remains slightly under its historic peak value of 64.4 points in October 2006, its trend is still upward, helped by the strong labor market, solid income growth and low inflation. A closely-watched survey shows German consumers remain optimistic as their economic expectations and willingness to make purchases have been bolstered by robust domestic demand and low inflation rates. A German research group said Wednesday its forward-looking consumer climate index rose to 10.2 points for June, up from 10.1 points in May.