German Retail Sales Up Slightly in March

By Nina Adam Features Dow Jones Newswires

German retail sales rose slightly in March amid revisions to the historical data, which also provided a big boost to turnover in 2016 and 2015.

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German retail sales rose 0.1% from the month before, adjusted for seasonal swings and calendar effects, the statistics office, Destatis, said Friday. Total turnover jumped 2.3% from March 2016, in inflation-adjusted terms, supported by the fact that there were two shopping days more this year than in March 2016.

In addition, Destatis revised retail sales data going back to May 2015, because a "larger company in the online business" had set up a branch office in Germany that month.

Destatis declined to provide the name of the company. But Amazon.com Inc. in May 2015 started booking revenue from retail sales in individual European countries, instead of funneling all sales through low-tax Luxembourg, amid intense scrutiny of corporate tax practices in Europe. A spokesperson at Amazon.com was not immediately available for comment.

The move had "significant effects" on the overall results, Destatis said. Illustrating this point, retail sales in 2016 now jumped 2.6% on the year, in inflation-adjusted terms. Previously, Destatis had reported a 1.8% gain.

Write to Nina Adam at nina.adam@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 28, 2017 03:10 ET (07:10 GMT)