German retail sales rise more sharply than forecast in November

German retail sales surged more than expected in November, data showed on Friday, boosting hopes that private consumption propped up growth in Europe’s biggest economy at the end of last year.

Germans are shopping more this year -- A busy intersection on Berlin's premier high street, the Kurfürstendamm. - Superdry

The volatile indicator, which is often subject to revision, showed retail sales rose by 2.3 percent on the month in real terms, the Federal Statistics Office said. That beat the Reuters consensus forecast for a 1 percent increase and came after an upwardly revised drop of 1 percent in October.

Germans revelling in record-high employment, a secure job market, rising wages and low borrowing costs are casting their traditional thriftiness aside to spend more, helping private consumption replace exports as the main growth driver.

On the year, retail sales climbed by 4.4, overshooting a Reuters consensus forecast for a 2.5 percent increase.

The Statistics Office estimated that retail sales increased by between 2.7 percent and 3.1 percent in real terms in 2017 overall.

The retail sales data came after a GfK survey in late December showed consumers felt more optimistic heading into January, unperturbed by political parties’ failure to form a new government. 

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