German retail sales rise in May as private consumption increases

Volatile indicator shows retail sales rose by 0.5 per cent on the month in real terms

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag . Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag . Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch

 

German retail sales rose in May, data showed on Friday, supporting expectations that private consumption will propel growth in Europe’s largest economy this year.

The volatile indicator, which is often subject to revision, showed retail sales rose by 0.5 per cent on the month in real terms, the Federal Statistics Office said. That was higher than the 0.3 per cent rise forecast in a Reuters poll and came after a fall of 0.2 per cent in April.

On the year, sales rose by 4.8 per cent in May, almost double the Reuters consensus forecast for a 2.5 per cent increase. Consumption has taken over exports as the main driver of growth, supported by a robust labour market and low interest rates.

A survey on Thursday showed German consumer sentiment at its best in almost 16 years heading into July.