Spending could slow country's retail troubles
The German Retail Association has estimated that retail sales in November and December will increase by 1.5 per cent, following a slowdown of political debate.

The industry expects full-year sales to be slow for a third year in a row, with estimates indicating 0.5 per cent decrease.

German retail has been experiencing difficulties since 2001, registering a steady fall in sales. Retail net sales between January and August fell 1.2 per cent year-on-year. Sales in September and October 2004 failed to reverse the negative trend as a result of political uncertainty and high unemployment.

The expected rise in sales over the pre-Christmas period will only slow the continuous decrease in turnover for the industry. Over the summer period, data indicated that Germans spent most on doing up their homes, rather than on summer holidays, which may be another reason to spend slightly more during the forthcoming holiday season.