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German retail sales fall in October

STORY: German retail sales fell more than expected in October.

That's according to official data released Thursday (December 1).

Sales were down 2.8% on the month - a bigger drop than analysts had projected.

It was also well down on a year before, at 5% below.

It comes as soaring double-digit inflation forced consumers to hold back on non-essential purchases at the start of the fourth quarter.

Non-food retail saw a 4.5% month-on-month drop.

One analyst said October's sales figures could lead some to believe the fourth quarter marks the start of a so-called winter recession.

Germany's HDE retail association has forecast the worst slump in Christmas sales since 2007.

Retail sales in the crucial November to December period are seen dropping by 4% year-on-year.