Germany's retail sales fall below expectations

The country's unemployment rate is no longer falling...

Retail sales in Germany fell below expectations in the first two months of 2016. 

Sales in February dropped 0.4% from the previous month, following a 0.1% January easing, according to data from the Federal Statistics Office.

A Wall Street Journal poll of economists had forecast a 0.3% monthly increase in February.

Annual comparisons were more positive, with retail sales proving 5.4% healthier than in February 2015. This February benefited from an extra shopping day, however. 

Germany has become increasingly reliant on private consumption for growth.

A five-month run of falling unemployment figures also came to an end in March.

German unemployment remained static at 2.728 million, with a predicted drop of 7,000 not coming to pass. The unemployment rate stands at 6.2%, a record low since Germany's reunification.

DZ Bank economist Michael Holstein told Reuters that Germany could no longer expect routine falls in unemployment, while migrants flooding into the country are increasingly unlikely to find work. 

Holstein said:

"The trend of steadily falling unemployment numbers is likely over".