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Economy in Brief

German Retail Sales Still Short Of Dependable
by Robert Brusca  September 2, 2009

German retail sales edged higher in July but this is after several months of declining. Despite the minor rise in sales ex-autos, retail sales in Q3 (one month into the new quarter) are dropping at an annual rate of 5.7% or 2.7% in real terms. The rise in real retail sales in July was a much larger 0.7%., not a barn burner but that did help to blunt the Q3 decline in retail sales compared to their level in Q2.

Car registration growth turned negative in July to boot after a bounce in June.

On balance it is clear that Germany is not building its recovery on the consumer. Its revival, instead, will be a factory-based export-led affair and will depend on the performance of exports relative to imports: those trends will be the real keys. But for a solid recovery to take hold the German consumer will have to be involved.

As of July, we are still waiting for that to happen.

German Real and Nominal Retail Sales QTR
Nominal Jul-09 Jun-09 May-09 3-MO 6-MO 12-MO Yr-Ago Saar
Retail Ex auto 0.1% -1.1% -1.0% -7.7% -1.2% -2.3% 2.0% -5.7%
MV and Parts 0.7% -1.3% -1.0% -6.1% -1.3% -1.0% -1.6% -2.7%
Food Bev & Tobacco -0.9% -3.2% 0.8% -12.5% -3.4% -2.6% 0.0% -15.5%
Clothing footwear 2.7% -0.3% -1.8% 2.3% 8.2% 2.1% 1.5% 11.8%
Car registrations (units) -5.8% 6.5% -6.2% -21.4% 113.6% 29.6% 1.6% 0.0%
Retail Ex auto 0.7% -1.3% -1.0% -6.1% -1.3% -1.0% -1.6% -2.7%
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