Retail sales in Germany fell 1.4% in July after a 0.8% decline in June, according to the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden, surprising economists who had predicted a 0.6% month-over-month increase. Sales were up 2.3% compared to July 2012. "Higher food prices tend to lead to a bit of downward pressure on consumption. Everything else looks positive. If you look at any business survey, there's acceleration, not deceleration, of growth in Germany," said economist Christian Schulz.

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