Sales of retail sector in Germany declined for a second straight month in May, official data showed on Monday, surprising economists who expected the turnover to increase slightly in last month.
According to the Wiesbaden-based Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), retail sales in the Europe's largest economy shrank by 0.6 percent in May compared with the previous month when adjusted for inflation, calendar and seasonal variations.
Economists had expected the sales to rose by 0.8 percent, following a month-on-month decline of 0.9 percent in April.
Compared with the same period of previous year, retail sales in the first five months of 2014 rose by 1.4 percent when adjusted for inflation.
Private consumption was considered as one of the main driving forces for German economy this year. Market research institute GfK forecast that spending of German consumers would grow by 1.5 percent in 2014, helping to boost the overall economy to expand by 2 percent.
Earlier survey by GfK found that German consumers' confidence into July, encouraged by European Central Bank's decision to cut interest rate, rocketed to the highest level since December 2006.