German retail sales rose in August, indicating that a recovery in Europe’s largest economy is gathering pace.
Sales adjusted for inflation and seasonal swings increased 0.5 percent from July, when they fell a revised 0.2 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. Economists predicted an increase of 0.8 percent, according to the median of 26 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Sales advanced 0.3 percent from a year earlier.
The Bundesbank said last week that Germany’s economy is being boosted by an “extraordinarily good” consumer climate. Economic growth of 0.7 percent in the second quarter and a jobless rate near a two-decade low helped propel Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats to win Sept. 22 elections, setting her up for a third term as leader.
“Germany’s economy is robust even as growth is expected to slow down a bit in the third quarter,” said Gerd Hassel, an economist at BHF Bank AG in Frankfurt. “Risks from the debt crisis in the euro area remain but if nothing unforeseen happens, the economy will continue to grow.”
The Bundesbank predicts gross domestic product will increase 0.3 percent this year and 1.5 percent in 2014. The unemployment rate held at 6.8 percent in September, according to a separate Bloomberg survey. The Federal Labor Agency is due to publish the jobless numbers tomorrow at 9:55 a.m. in Nuremberg.
The European Central Bank estimates that the 17-nation euro economy, Germany’s biggest export market, will shrink 0.4 percent this year before growing 1 percent in 2014.