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German retail sales rise at fastest rate in seven years

BERLIN (Reuters) - German retail sales posted their strongest gain in seven years in January, reinforcing expectations that consumer spending will support growth in Europe's largest economy this year. Data from the Federal Statistics Office on Friday showed retail sales rising 2.5 percent in both real and nominal terms compared to December, when they stumbled 2.1 percent lower in real terms during the important Christmas shopping season.

US retailers reporting weak holiday season results

Victoria's Secret parent L Brands and home decor chain Pier 1 Imports joined other retailers in slashing profit forecasts Thursday following disappointing holiday sales. The two cited heavy discounting, higher marketing costs and poor weather over the late-November to December gift-buying season in the United States, following similar poor reports from Bed, Bath & Beyond and Family Dollar.

Discounts drive U.S. holiday retail growth: ShopperTrak

By Maria Ajit Thomas (Reuters) - Promotions and discounts offered by U.S. retailers drove a 2.7 percent rise in holiday season sales despite six fewer days and a cold snap that kept shoppers from stores, retail industry tracker ShopperTrak said. Reflecting a recovering U.S. economy, retail sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas rose for the fourth consecutive year, even though the number of people walking into stores fell 14.6 percent in the period, ShopperTrak said.

US retail spending rises healthy 0.7 per cent in November, good sign for holiday shopping

WASHINGTON - U.S. consumers ramped up spending in November on cars, appliances and furniture and made more purchases online, signalling growing confidence in the economy at the start of the holiday shopping season. The Commerce Department said Thursday that retail sales rose 0.7 per cent, the biggest gain in five months. October's figure was also revised higher to 0.6 per cent.

Retail group expects holiday sales to rise 3.9 per cent unless govt shutdown lasts over 2 weeks

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Americans, who're increasingly optimistic about improving economic conditions, are expected to spend at a more rapid clip during the upcoming holiday shopping season than they did last year. But that could change if the partial government shutdown that has forced about 800,000 federal workers off the job continues and causes shoppers to lose confidence in the economy.

RPT-UPDATE 1-UK retail sales disappoint in December

* Sales fall on month compared to forecast rise * Annual growth worst since April * Little evidence of Christmas cheer after shop closures By Olesya Dmitracova and Patrick Graham LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - British retail sales dashed hopes on Friday of a Christmas boost for a struggling economy, falling on the month in December and growing the least on the year since April.

UPDATE 2-Debenhams sacrifices some profit to lure wary shoppers

* 5 weeks to Jan. 5 underlying sales up 5.0 pct * 18 weeks to Jan. 5 underlying sales up 2.9 pct * FY gross margin guidance reduced to up 10 basis points * CEO says Xmas market most competitive in 37-year career * Shares down 6.3 pct, having doubled in last 12 months (Adds detail, CEO, analyst comment, shares) By James Davey
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