November 29, 2013 / 8:06 AM / 6 years ago

German retail sales fall unexpectedly in October

BERLIN, Nov 29 (Reuters) - German retail sales fell unexpectedly in October, the second straight monthly drop in the volatile indicator, with bookstores and jewellers seeing the sharpest declines, the Statistics Office said on Friday.

Retail sales fell a real 0.8 percent from September, the month Germany held an unsettling election, won by Chancellor Angela Merkel but without her own majority. Talks with the centre left finally produced a deal on a coalition this week.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected retail sales to increase 0.5 percent in the month. Compared with a year earlier, retail sales declined a real 0.2 percent. Economists had forecast they would rise by 1.3 percent.

Berenberg economist Christian Schulz said post-election uncertainty over issues such as taxation “may have played a role in spending behaviour in October”, though he noted that the data are volatile and often subject to later revisions.

“At this early stage of Q4 data, the series suggests some caution for the growth outlook,” said Schulz in a research note. “But we still expect a strong Christmas shopping season.”

In September, retail sales fell a revised real 0.2 percent for the month but rose a real 0.3 percent from the same month a year earlier. (Reporting by Stephen Brown; Editing by Larry King)

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