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Tuesday 02nd of November 2010
October 31, 2010    

German retail sales see big fall in September

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by Kay Murchie

Germany’s Statistics Office has revealed a big fall in retail sales for the month of September - the sharpest monthly decline since March 2008.

The figures surprised analysts who had expected an increase.

Sales fell 2.3% in the month compared with August, confounding forecasts for a 0.4% rise.

The figures come as the German economy, which is Europe’s largest, is experiencing strong growth and has recovered from recession on the back of surging exports.

In the meantime, the Federal Labour Agency recently revealed Germany’s unemployment rate fell in October to 7%, from 7.2% the previous month.

The number of unemployed has fallen below the three million mark – boosted by a combination of Government measures and reforms.

Germany’s job market is much stronger 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.

Meanwhile, in August, Germany’s central bank, the Deutsche Bundesbank, lifted its growth forecast for the economy.

The German economy is expected to grow by 3% this year – much higher than its previous forecast of 1.9%.

The German economy grew by a record 2.2% in the second quarter – the fastest quarterly growth in 20 years.

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