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Consumer Affairs

GfK consumer confidence index stalls as Germans start saving again

Consumer confidence in Germany is expected to stagnate in April, ending almost a year of steadily rising moods among its consumers. Nevertheless, the widely-watched GfK consumer index remained at a 7-year high.

GfK's forward-looking German consumer confidence index remained stuck at 8.5 points for April, following the same reading for March, the Nuremberg-based market research group announced Wednesday.

In March, the headline household confidence index had hit a 7-year high, GfK said, crowning a year of rising moods among German consumers.

German economy set for bigger growth

Noting that consumer sentiment lacked a clear direction in April, GfK said that economic expectations and consumers' propensity to spend were still rising. Income expectations, however, had taken a hit, and Germans were starting to save again, the market research group added.

"One can only speculate whether or not the crisis in Crimea is playing a role in this," GfK said as it pointed to the fact that the survey of about 2,000 German households was made prior to the recent escalation in the Ukraine crisis.

On balance, Germans remain optimistic about the state of the economy and their personal finances. Unlike most of their fellow Europeans, they have enjoyed stable employment and rising wages over the past few years following the debt crisis in Europe.

uhe/kms (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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