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Economy in Brief

 The Disappointing Trend in German Retail Sales Continues 
by Louise Curley November 2, 2004

The downward trend in German retail sales that began in late 2003 continues. In September, the headline series--the value of retail sales excluding autos and gas stations--declined 0.41% from August and was 1.93% below September, 2003. Including autos and gas stations, the comparable figures were 0.20% and 2.39%.

In volume terms, retail sales, excluding autos and gas stations, declined 0.41% in September from August and were 1.93% below September 2003. The comparable figures for the volume of retail sales including autos and gas stations were 0.10% and 2.79%.

The rise in oil prices during this year has, no doubt, affected purchasing power adversely, but rising unemployment and reduction in welfare benefits associated with Chancellor Schroeder's reform program, Agenda 2010, have also played a significant role in reducing purchasing power and in lowering the propensity to consume.

German Retail Sales Indexes (2000=100)  Sep 04 Aug  04 Sep  03 M/M % Y/Y % 2003   2002  2001
Excluding Autos and Gas Stations               
  Value 98.2 98.6 99.8 -0.41 -1.60 100.1 100.3 101.9
  Volume 96.7 97.1 98.6 -0.41 -1.93 98.7 98.9 101.0
               
Including Autos and Gas Stations              
  Value 99.4 99.6 101.8 -0.20 -2.39 101.8 101.3 102.1
  Volume 97.5 97.6 100.3 -0.10 -2.79 100.1 100.0 101.5
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