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Economy in Brief

 Revised German Retail Sales Data
by Louise Curley July 5, 2005

Retail sales provided another positive statistic for Germany in May. The volume of retail sales was up 1.2% in May on a seasonally adjusted basis from April and the value was up 1.8%. On a seasonally unadjusted basis, the volume of retail sales was 2.7% over May 2004 and the value was 3.2% over the same period.

The recently revised series for German retail sales shows a somewhat better picture over the past few years than that previously reported. For example the new data show that retail sales increased 1.2% in 2004 instead of declining 1.7% as reported earlier. For 2003 the difference was much smaller--a decline of 0.5% vs. one of 0.6% reported earlier.

The headline series excludes automobiles and gas stations and is shown seasonally adjusted and unadjusted for values and volumes. Data on automobiles and gas stations are released some weeks after the retail sales release. However, a memo item is included in the current release that shows total retail sales including estimated automobiles and gas stations on a seasonally adjusted bases in value and volume terms. The two value series are shown in the attached chart. It may seem strange that the total excluding automobiles and gas stations is at times higher than the total including these items. But these data are index numbers relative to the year 2003, not absolute levels. Except for the items just noted most of the data are not seasonally adjusted. .

German Retail Sales ex Automobiles and Gas Stations May 05 Apr 05 May 04 M/M% Y/Y%  2004    2003  2002
Value (2003=100)                
   Not seasonally adjusted 98.8 103.4 95.8 -4.45 3.13 101.4 100.0 100.5
   Seasonally adjusted 102.2 100.4 98.1 1.79 4.18 100.7 100.1 100.5
SA Value incl autos & gas stations 102.2 100.8 98.9 1.39 3.34 101.0 100.2 99.5
Volume 2000 Prices (2003=100)                
   Not seasonally adjusted 98.0 102.7 95.4 94.58 2.73 101.2 100.0 100.5
   Seasonally adjusted 101.3 100.1 98.0 1.20 3.37 100.7 100.1 100.5
SA Value incl autos & gas stations 100.9 100.0 98.3 0.90 2.64 100.6 100.2 100.2
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