German Retail Sales Rebound In May
German retail sales rebounded in May as a gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions supported consumer spending in Europe's largest economy, data showed on Thursday.
Retail sales rose 4.2% on the month in real terms after a downwardly revised decline of 6.8% in April, The Federal Statistics Office said. The May reading undershot a Reuters forecast for a rise of 5.0%.
The data is supporting expectations for a consumer-driven recovery over the summer after the economy was hit hard by lockdown measures imposed to contain a third wave of coronavirus infections in Europe's most populous country.
On the year, retail sales - a notoriously volatile indicator often subject to revisions - fell 2.4% in real terms following an increase of 5.1% in the previous month.
Food, Beverage Sales
In May 2021, the calendar and seasonally adjusted retail sales of food, beverages and tobacco products were up 3.4% month-on-month.
Supermarkets and hypermarkets reported a sales growth of 2.6% compared with April 2021.
In the food specialty retail trade sector, including fruit and vegetables, meat, baked goods or beverages, saw sales increase by 5.0% compared to the previous month.
The year-on-year figures showed that online retailers continued to benefit from shifting consumer habits with a strong jump in sales. That came at the expense of clothing and shoe stores.
Internet and mail order business saw calendar and seasonally adjusted sales up 5.7% in May compared to the previous month.
HDE, the German retail association, has warned that up to 50,000 shops are facing bankruptcy because of the lockdown and the broader shift towards online shopping.
The association has presented a 10-point plan outlining its demands and called on the future government to implement various changes to facilitate growth after the COVID-19 pandemic.