BERLIN (Reuters) - German monthly retail sales edged down unexpectedly in August, data showed on Monday, suggesting that household spending lost some steam as a growth driver in Europe's biggest economy over the summer.
The volatile indicator, which is often subject to revision, showed retail sales fell by 0.1 percent on the month in real terms, the Federal Statistics Office said.
This was weaker than the Reuters consensus forecast for a 0.4 percent rise and followed a downwardly revised drop of 1.1 percent in July.
On the year, retail rose by 1.6 percent, beating the Reuters consensus forecast for a 1.5 percent increase.
Private consumption has become a key growth driver in Germany where consumers benefit from record-high employment, rising real wages, strong job security and low borrowing costs.
The retail sales data followed a GfK survey published last week that showed the mood among German shoppers improved heading into October, suggesting that consumers will feed overall economic growth in the fourth quarter despite rising inflation.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber, Editing by Maria Sheahan)