BERLIN (Reuters) – German retail sales bounced back in January after plunging in the previous month, data showed on Wednesday, suggesting that private consumption helped prop up growth in Europe’s largest economy at the start of this year.
Retail sales rose by 0.9% on the month in real terms after an upwardly revised drop of 2.0% in the previous month, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed. This was slightly below a Reuters forecast of analysts for a 1.0% increase.
On the year, retail sales rose by 1.8% in real terms after an upwardly revised rise of 1.7% in December, the data showed.
Retail sales are a volatile indicator often subject to revision.
The figures suggest that household spending is holding up in Germany, helped by record-high employment, solid wage increases and moderate inflation, though the coronavirus epidemic could weaken domestic demand in the weeks ahead.
A survey showed last month that German consumer morale deteriorated slightly heading into March as fears that the coronavirus outbreak could worsen an economic slowdown made Germans less willing to take out their wallets.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by Riham Alkousaa)