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German retail sales rise more than expected in May

German retail sales rose in May, data showed on Friday, supporting expectations that private consumption will propel growth in Europe’s largest economy this year.

The volatile indicator, which is often subject to revision, showed retail sales rose by 0.5 percent on the month in real terms, the Federal Statistics Office said. That was higher than the 0.3 percent rise forecast in a Reuters poll and came after a fall of 0.2 percent in April.

On the year, sales rose by 4.8 percent in May, almost double the Reuters consensus forecast for a 2.5 percent increase.

Consumption has taken over exports as the main driver of growth, supported by a robust labour market and low interest rates.

A survey on Thursday showed German consumer sentiment at its best in almost 16 years heading into July.

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