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Business

German consumer confidence grows despite uncertainties

German consumers look largely unfazed by a growing number of global economic uncertainties, a study has found. Their willingness to spend more is based on high income expectations, GfK market researchers say.

Consumer confidence in Germany picked up slightly, market researchers from the Nuremberg-based GfK group reported Thursday while presenting their forward-looking monthly barometer gauging the mood among shoppers in Europe's powerhouse.

Looking to March, GfK's headline household confidence index was forecast to inch higher to 9.5 points

from 9.4 points in the previous month.

"Income expectations have increased noticeably; the propensity to spend is stable," GfK expert Rolf Bürkl said in a statement.

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Tower of strength

Some German trade unions are currently aiming to secure wage hikes of around 5 percent in the sectors they represent. Even if they have to meet employers halfway, record-low inflation will mean that consumers' purchasing power will increase markedly.

"German consumers appear to be a bastion of calm against the backdrop of global economic worries, and against the European trend," Dekabank economist Andreas Scheuerle told Reuters.

"The results of our latest survey show that German consumers remain unfazed by the intensive discussions over a solution to the refugee crisis; nor is the still acute danger of terrorist attacks serving to unnerve consumer sentiment," GfK agreed.

hg/bea (AFP, dpa)

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