German Monthly Retail Sales Drop, Confounding Expectations
German retail sales declined by 0.6% on the month in May, the Federal Statistics Office said on Tuesday, confounding the consensus for a 0.5% rise and putting a dampener on hopes that household spending will prop up Europe's largest economy.
The economy has been relying on private consumption for growth, a cycle supported by a robust labour market, low interest rates and rising wages. But the Bundesbank has said economic output will fall slightly in the second quarter.
Retail sales are a volatile indicator often subject to revision.
Compared to the year before, retail sales expanded far more than expected, with online commerce and delivery services contributing especially strongly to year-on-year real growth of 4%. That far outstripped the 2.7% growth analysts had expected.
The retail data comes after a survey published last week showed German consumer morale fell heading into July.