November 7, 2018 / 9:30 AM / 10 months ago

German retail body raises 2018 sales forecast to 2.3 pct

BERLIN, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Germany’s HDE retail association on Wednesday raised its forecast for retail sales growth in Europe’s largest economy to 2.3 percent in 2018 from its previous estimate of 2 percent, adding that it saw sales hitting a record high at Christmas.

HDE said it expected Christmas sales to increase by 2 percent this year to hit a record 100 billion euros ($114.80 billion). Last year festive retail sales climbed by 3.8 percent.

“The overall economic conditions are good and the labour market continues to develop positively,” HDE managing director Stefan Genth said.

German consumers are revelling in rising real wages, record-high employment, strong job security and low borrowing costs, making private consumption a key pillar of what has traditionally been an export-oriented economy.

$1 = 0.8711 euros Reporting by Rene Wagner Writing by Michelle Martin Editing by Maria Sheahan

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