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1ST LEAD German retail sales rise at fastest pace in 8 months By Andrew McCathie, dpa

Europe
31.07.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - German shoppers remain a key pillar of growth in Europe‘s biggest economy, with retail sales rising at their fastest pace in June as job vacancies hit a record high, according to data released on Monday.

Retail sales jumped by a better-than-forecast 1.1 per cent, more than double the 0.5-per-cent increase in May, the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) said, consequently adding to signs of the healthy state of the nation‘s economy.

"Consumer confidence among Germans remains superb," the Nuremberg-based market research institute GfK said last week releasing its forward-looking consumer confidence indicator, which is set to climb to a 16-year-high next month of 10.8 points.

The June rise in retail sales represented the strongest increase since October and comes amid a solid labour market, low interest rates, rising incomes and weak inflation,.

Analysts had expected retail sales to have posted a mere 0.2-per-cent gain last month.

Employment hit its highest level since German unification 27 years ago, climbing by 1.5 per cent or 657,000 to 44.2 million in June compared with the same month last year, Destatis said in separate data.

Highlighting the strength of the jobs market, the Federal Labour Agency said on Monday the number of job vacancies in the nation hit a record high in July.

The agency said its BA-X indicator measuring employment demand rose three percentage points to reach a reading of 238 points this month after steady increasing since 2014.

Year-on-year retail sales rose by 1.5 per cent in June.

 

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