“German retail sales rose the most in more than six years in January as falling unemployment bolstered consumer confidence.
Sales, adjusted for inflation and seasonal swings, jumped 3.1 percent from December, when they dropped 2.1 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. That’s the biggest increase since December 2006, the office said. Economists forecast a 0.9 percent gain, according to the median of 20 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. From a year earlier, sales rose 2.4 percent.
The German economy, Europe’s largest, is recovering from its fourth-quarter slump. Factory orders, industrial production and exports rose in December and sentiment has improved among entrepreneurs, investors and consumers. With unemployment near a two-decade low and a shortage of skilled labor, German workers won wage deals of as much as 6.5 percent last year….”