Retail sales in Germany rose as much as 2.1% last year as Europe's largest economy took the eurozone debt crisis in its stride, according to the Federal Statistical Office.
But stripping out inflation, turnover at retail stores fell between 0.1% and 0.3% from 2011, the Destatis officesaid.
November retail sales also gained from a year earlier, the BBC reports.
Germany has mainly escaped the worst effects of the crisis that has threatened to unravel the bloc.
Figures this week also showed the jobless rate was unchanged at 6.9% last month - with the total jobless at about 2.8 million.
Germany's Federal Labour Agency said the seasonally-adjusted jobless rate was unchanged in December, although there were 3,000 more unemployed people than the previous month.
The nation is the architect and chief backer of the eurozone's many bailouts as the region tries to extricate itself from a debt crisis.
Unlike most of its partners in the 17-nation eurozone, Germany's economy grew for most of 2012. Fourth-quarter GDP figures are due this month.