According to the Federal Statistical Office, retail trade turnover in Germany reached a new all-time high in 2021. In 2021, compared to 2020, the year with the highest turnover ever recorded, real (price-adjusted) turnover was 0.6% to 1.2% higher and nominal (not price-adjusted) turnover was 2.8% to 3.4% higher. 

On a real basis, the mean YoY rates of change were 0.9%, and on a nominal basis, they were 3.1%. However, the findings for the months of January to November 2021 show that parts of the shop-based retail trade, such as textiles, clothes, footwear, and leather products, also experienced revenue losses in the second year of the coronavirus pandemic.

Retailers in Germany recorded calendar and seasonally adjusted sales in real (price adjusted) 0.6% and nominal (not price adjusted) 1.1% more in November 2021 than in October 2021, according to preliminary results. 

Weak German retail sales dash hopes for strong recovery

Retail sales were up 5.9% compared to the pre-crisis month of February 2020. Sales decreased by 2.9% in real terms but increased by 0.2% in nominal terms, compared to November 2020. The real drop in sales compared to the same month the previous year could be due to retail supply constraints and a dramatic increase in retail prices.

In November 2021, retail sales of food, beverages, and tobacco goods increased by 0.9% in real calendar and seasonally adjusted terms over the previous month, but were still 2.9% lower than the month before the crisis, February 2020.

The non-food retail sector experienced moderate sales growth in November 2021. Here, calendar and seasonally adjusted real sales were 0.6% higher than in October 2021 and, with a plus of 9.4%, were well above the pre-crisis level of February 2020.