GERMAN retail sales have returned to growth, beating analyst expectations of a 0.2 per cent monthly rise at 0.8 per cent in May. Last month, by comparison, sales were down by 0.1 per cent.
This should come as another boost for Europe’s largest economy, following an unexpected fall in unemployment in June and a rise in business confidence (as reported by the Ifo institute) and investor sentiment (as measured by ZEW).
The German central bank expects German gross domestic product (GDP) to have improved “markedly” in the second quarter of 2013 following a weak growth of 0.1 per cent in the first three months of the year. Forecasts are for a 0.3 per cent growth in 2013 and 1.5 per cent growth in 2014.
Meanwhile, French consumers upped their spending in May, with consumer spending up 0.5 per cent month-on-month, rising from a 0.5 per cent fall in April (revised down from a fall of 0.3 per cent).