By Nina Adam

FRANKFURT--German retail sales in October posted their strongest monthly gain in more than five years, as shopkeepers prepared for the important pre-Christmas shopping season.

Retail sales, adjusted for inflation and seasonal effects, jumped 2.4% from September, the Destatis statistics office said Wednesday. This is the strongest monthly gain since June 2011, beating economists' forecasts of a 1.0% increase.

The data, although notoriously volatile, raise hopes that a prolonged period of lackluster retail sales has come to an end.

Compared with October 2015, German retail sales were down 1.0%, in inflation-adjusted terms, but there was one shopping day less in October this year than last year, Destatis said.

Market research group GfK forecast last week that consumer sentiment in Germany would pick up in December. It also confirmed an earlier estimate of a 2% increase in German household consumption this year, in real terms.

Write to Nina Adam at nina.adam@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 30, 2016 02:50 ET (07:50 GMT)

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