April 24, 2019 / 8:50 AM / in a month

German retail body upholds forecast of 2 pct sales growth this year

DUESSELDORF, Germany, April 24 (Reuters) - Germany’s HDE retail association on Wednesday confirmed its forecast that sales would increase by 2 percent this year, marking a tenth straight year of growth, as shoppers benefit from record-high employment and rising wages.

HDE said it expected retail sales to grow to 537.4 billion euros ($602.64 billion) in 2019, adding that, in price-adjusted terms, it saw a growth rate of 0.5 percent.

“Consumers seem to be largely unfazed by the economic slowdown,” HDE said after the government and institutes have cut their forecasts for Germany’s economic growth.

As exporters struggle with weaker foreign demand, trade tensions and Brexit-related uncertainty, Germany’s vibrant domestic demand is expected to be the sole driver of growth this year and next. ($1 = 0.8917 euros) (Reporting by Matthias Inverardi Writing by Michelle Martin Editing by Tassilo Hummel)

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