Berlin, Germany (4E) – Retail shoppers in Germany continued their strong purchases in February, a sign that Europe’s biggest economy is likely to post a strong growth in the first quarter, according to the country’s statistics office Destatis in its report released Monday.
On an adjusted basis, retail sales in February increased 1.3 percent from January’s figure, which was downwardly revised to 1.7 percent. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal called for drop in monthly retail sales by 0.5 percent.
Retail sales rose 2.0 percent from a year ago, following a more modest 0.9 percent gain in January. Retail sales data are typically volatile and are revised constantly.
Monday’s data is an indication that the economy will have a strong first quarter. Consumer confidence stayed at its highest level in seven years, as German outlook is helped by optimism about the economy and a stable labor market.
Earlier in March, the country’s central bank said it expects the economy to see a “substantial boost” in the first three months of 2014 amid a very mild winter that has boosted construction output.