January 31, 2013 / 7:11 AM / 5 years ago

German retail sales plunged in December

BERLIN, Jan 31 (Reuters) - German retail sales fell on an annual basis by their largest amount in over three years in December, denting hopes that private consumption will be a pillar of support for Europe's largest economy this year as exports weaken.

The notoriously volatile indicator dropped 1.7 percent on the month in real terms, the biggest drop since May 2011, and tumbled 4.7 percent compared to a year ago, the weakest result since May 2009, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected retail sales to fall 0.1 percent on the month and to drop 1.6 percent on the year. (Reporting by Berlin bureau)

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