Data on Germany’s retail sales were surprisingly higher than expected, rising 0.7 percent in October versus September’s revised 0.3 percent figure. This is the biggest increase since June. Economists had expected sales to remain flat in October.
On a yearly basis, the index declined 0.4 percent, which was more than forecast at 2 percent.
What helped boost retail sales was most probably the fact that German shoppers increased their willingness to spend ahead of the year-end holiday season.
Europe’s largest economy, and so-called “power house” appears to be weathering the impact of the euro zone’s debt crisis.
A jobs report that was released after the retail sales report showed that unemployment is easing lower. Destatis released data on the change in the number of unemployed Germans during the previous month. The number of unemployed people in November fell drastically to 20,000 from an expected 5,000 decline. October saw a gain of 10,000 unemployed.
Germany’s official unemployment rate in November is 6.9 percent versus the previous month’s 7 percent. It was expected to remain unchanged but moved marginally lower.