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Economy in Brief

German Retail Sales turn Volatile
by Robert Brusca  July 29, 2011

Retail sales (ex-autos) in Germany are gyrating, showing sharp fluctuations in the last two months. While retail sales soared in June vehicle registrations tanked. When retail sales fell in May vehicle registrations fell. There is no consistency.

There seems to be no signal in what retail sales are doing but instead a great deal of chaos. In France Household spending on manufactured goods rose. In the UK nominal and real retail sales recovered slightly from a sharp drop in May. But in Spain the steady drumbeat of sales contraction continues.

The European economies are being hammered by adverse expectations stemming from ongoing concerns about debt levels in a changing mix of European nations that are embroiled in it. Overnight Spain has been warned by Moody’s that it is vulnerable to a downgrade. Italy’s bonds are feeling pressure again.

Against this background, having some spending revival in Germany is good news. But having it on the heels of a big drop blunts the message. Still, German retail sales are up by 4.2% Yr/Yr , 3.5% in real terms. And that is something. The question is whether the spurt in June holds up in July.

German Real and Nominal Retail Sales
Nominal Jun
11
May
11
Apr
11
3Mo 6Mo 12Mo YrAgo QTR
SAAR
Retaill Ex auto 6.1% -2.6% 0.6% 16.8% 9.1% 4.2% 4.1% 30.0%
Car Registrations (Units) -15.9% 8.8% -4.1% -40.6% -12.7% -2.0% -33.4% 0.0%
Real Jun
11
May
11
Apr
11
3Mo 6Mo 12Mo 4.1% SAAR
Retail Ex auto 6.3% -2.5% 0.4% 17.6% 7.1% 2.5% 3.5% 31.9%
Other Early Reporters
UK Nominal 0.3% -1.4% 1.6% 1.7% 5.6% 4.0% 2.5% -1.0%
UK real 0.7% -1.4% 1.2% 1.9% 1.7% 0.4% 0.7% -1.1%
Spain RetailXAuto -2.5% -2.2% 4.2% -2.4% -3.9% -3.9% 2.1% -14.6%
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