In January, retail sales in Germany grew by 3.3% compared with December, when they decreased by 3.1%, according to preliminary data from Destatis. The growth rate in January significantly surpassed the 1.9% increase expected by economists and became the strongest since October 2016. Compared to the same month of the previous year, retail sales increased by 2.6%, indicating the most significant growth rate in 3 months. The annual rate was also higher than the projected growth of 1.2%. Last month, food, beverages and tobacco products were sold 2.7% more than in the same month a year earlier. Sales of non-food products showed an annual increase of 2.3%. Online sales and mail order sales grew by 6.2%.