German retail sales post biggest year-on-year slump since 1994

Cologne's shopping street crowded during the coronavirus pandemic
Christmas shoppers wear mask and fill Cologne's main shopping street Hohe Strasse (High Street) during the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Cologne, Germany, 12, December, 2020. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

BERLIN, Aug 1 (Reuters) - German retailers ended the first half of 2022 with the sharpest year-on-year sales drop in nearly three decades, as inflation, the Ukraine war and the coronavirus pandemic take their toll, data showed on Monday.

Retail sales in June decreased 8.8% in real terms compared with the same month last year, the biggest drop since the time series began in 1994, said the Federal Statistical Office.

Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted a drop of 8.0%.

Retail sales also unexpectedly fell compared with the month before: June retail sales fell 1.6% in real terms, versus analysts' predictions of a 0.2% increase in a Reuters poll.

Food retail sales in particular saw a decrease of 1.6% in real terms compared with the previous month, which is due to higher prices for groceries and an increase in restaurant sales, according to the office.

Reporting by Miranda Murray and Rene Wagner; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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