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German retailers not expecting major boost from Christmas sales -Ifo

FILE PHOTO: People carry their shopping bags in downtown Hamburg

BERLIN (Reuters) - German retailers are not expecting a strong boost from Christmas sales this year as weak demand continues to weigh heavily on business, according to a survey by the Ifo economic institute.

Sentiment among German retailers had improved for the first time in three months in November, rising to -8.8 points from -13.5 in October, according to the results released on Tuesday.

"Despite the slightly improved mood among retailers, demand, which has been weak all year, remains a challenge even in the period of strong sales during the run-up to Christmas," said Ifo retail expert Patrick Hoeppner.

Expectations in the sector for the coming months also remain pessimistic, according to Ifo.

However, easing inflation could provide new momentum for retailers in the coming year: "As with the economy as a whole, price increases in the retail sector are likely to continue to weaken in the coming months," said Hoeppner.

(Reporting by Rene Wagner; Writing by Miranda Murray; Editing by Andrew Heavens)