German Consumer Confidence Sinks | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 27.08.2004
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German Consumer Confidence Sinks

Consumer confidence in Germany dropped to the lowest in more than a year amid worries reductions in jobless benefits by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's government. GfK's September index of consumer sentiment, which aims to forecast household spending a month in advance, fell to 2.0 from a revised 3.0 in July, the Nuremberg-based market research company said according to Bloomberg News. New laws lowering benefits for the long-term unemployed, combined with rising joblessness and oil-driven inflation, are prompting consumers to save rather than buy. GfK said that household spending, the largest part of the economy, can't be expected to contribute to growth this year. "Unemployment has to fall if people are going to start saving less," GfK Chief Executive Officer Klaus Wübbenhorst told Bloomberg. "The government is taking the right steps, but the execution and communication is not good."