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Saturday 05th of March 2011
March 3, 2011    

German retail sales up second month in a row

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by Kay Murchie
German retail sales up second month in a row

Federal Statistical Office, Destatis, has today revealed German retail sales grew for a second consecutive month in January.

According to Destatis, retail sales rose 2.6% in January on an annual basis - boosted by falling unemployment.

Earlier this week, the Federal Labour Office said there was a further fall in the number of people out of work in February to 3.07 million – the lowest since September 1992.

Germany’s unemployment rate fell to 7.3% in February from January‘s 7.4%. The country’s job market has performed much better than in many other countries and many believe it is the result of the “Kurzarbeit” scheme, introduced by the German Government, designed to prevent mass redundancies.

Last year, Germany’s unemployment rate plunged to 7.7% from 8.2% in 2009 as a result of the Government initiative.

Returning to today’s figures, retail sales rose 1.4% on a monthly basis, confounding analysts expectations who had forecast falls for the month and the year.

Germany, which is Europe’s largest economy, is driving the recovery of the euro zone.

Export demand helped to bring the country out of recession in the second quarter of 2009 – much sooner than many of its counterparts throughout the world.

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