German retail sales fell unexpectedly in December 2010, posting a decline for a second consecutive month, the Federal Statistics Office said on Monday.

Retails sales in the eurozone’s largest economy fell 0.3 percent in December last year, following a revised 1.9 percent drop in November.

Markets had forecast the German retail sales to rise by 1.9 percent in the last month of 2010.

Also, retail sales declined by 1.3 percent in December year-on-year against the economists’ expectations of 2.2 percent gain.

Overall retail sales in Germany increased 2.3 percent last year in nominal terms and 1.2 percent in real terms compared with 2009.

Separately, the statistical office data showed that wholesale trade turnover in Germany increased by 11.3 percent in nominal terms in 2010 and 6 percent in real terms compared with the previous year.

In 2010, Germany’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 3.6 percent, recording the fastest growth in nearly two decades.

According to the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, German economy is expected to grow faster at 2.3 percent in 2011 than 1.8 percent initially estimated in October 2010.

The ministry also said exports from the country to rise 6.5 percent and imports by 6.4 percent in 2011. It also projected that German budget deficit to fall to 2.5 percent of GDP below of EU limit of 3 percent this year.

The ministry forecast the unemployment rate to fall to 7 percent this year from 7.7 percent last year, boosted by strong economic expansion.