June 30, 2014 1:31 pm

German retail sales fall 0.6% in May

MUNICH, GERMANY - DECEMBER 18: Shoppers walk through a pedestrian area near Marienplatz on December 18, 2013 in Munich, Germany. As christmas nears, a lot of people visit shops in downtown Munich to do their shopping. (Photo by Joerg Koch/Getty Images)©Getty

German retail sales fell by 0.6 per cent in May in real terms, compared with the previous month, according to data released on Monday.

Analysts expect German shoppers to display an increased willingness to spend, as the country’s labour market is robust and interest rates are low.

But sales figures in recent months have been disappointing.

The Easter holidays started three weeks later this year, compared with 2013, but the monthly figure for April showed no boost to retail sales volumes.

The month-on-month decline in May follows a fall of 1.5 per cent in April, compared with March 2014, according to data published by Germany’s federal statistical agency.

A strong retail performance in January, when sales rose 1.9 per cent month-on-month in real terms, has helped boost figures when compared on an annual basis.

Overall, sales for the first five months of the year are up 1.4 per cent on the previous year.

The data show that online and mail order sales rose 5 per cent in the first five months of 2014, compared with the same period last year.

Sales of clothing and shoes grew 3.4 per cent in January-May 2014, while sales of medicines and cosmetics grew 4 per cent in the same period.

On an annual basis, retail sales in May were up 1.9 per cent in real terms.

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