Although GDP growth was positive in Q4 2013, expanding by 0.4% quarter-on-quarter and 1.3% year-on-year, consumer spending did contract slightly. However, the first quarter is forecast to have seen an expansion in household expenditure and indeed 2014 has begun on an upward trajectory for the retail sector, with sales growing in the first two months of the year.
According to preliminary estimates from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), retail sales rose by an inflation-adjusted 0.9% in January and again by 2.0% in February year-on-year. Buoyant consumer sentiment is also evidenced by the positive level of the GFK index in March with consumers generally more confident about the economy.
Source : Cushman & Wakefield