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Business

Oil, Politics Weighing Down Consumers

Worries about the current political stalemate in Germany are weighing on consumer sentiment in the euro zone's biggest economy, a new poll showed on Wednesday. "The election battle and the clashes in the run-up to the German elections on the one hand and the hike in oil prices on the other have further impacted on the consumer mood in Germany," market research group GfK said in a statement. For its monthly poll, GfK quizzes around 2,000 consumers on their views on the economic outlook, income expectations and their propensity to buy. The responses are then used to calculate an overall consumer climate index, which is set to fall slightly to 3.1 points in October from a revised figure of 3.3 points in September, GfK forecast. "The outcome of the German elections is expected to be followed by extremely complicated and possibly lengthy negotiations on creating a stable government," the GfK said. Neither the Social Democratic Party or the conservative Christian Union parties secured enough votes for a ruling majority. Persistently sluggish consumer demand has been the main reason why the German economy has been unable to stage a lasting recovery.

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