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Stats Quo: According to first estimates by the German Federal Bureau of Statistics released Jan. 4, the nation’s retailers ended 2012 with a nominal gain of 1.9 to 2.1 percent. That would place total retail sales, which include grocery, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, furniture, home improvement, books as well as apparel at between 496.5 billion and 497.5 billion euros, or $638.5 billion to $639.8 billion at average exchange for the period, last year.
The estimates are based on sales figures from January through November and take into account that December 2012 had two fewer sales days than December 2011. Sales in the 11-month period, however, were nominally higher, at 2.3 percent, than in the period for 2011. In the apparel retail sector (including shoes, but not jewelry or cosmetics), sales for the 11 months inched up 0.7 percent.
A spokesman for the HDE (German Retail Federation) said the Bureau’s estimates confirmed its prognosis of a 1.5 percent nominal increase in sales for a total of 80.4 billion euros or $104.3 billion in the last two months of 2012. Final figures for December 2012 are not yet available. The German Apparel Retailers Association, however, was less upbeat about the year’s close. “Christmas business was not as good as last year. We’re in minus,” a spokesman said.