German consumers have lost some of their optimism that prevailed earlier in the year, a leading market research group has shown. Its latest sentiment barometers points downwards amid a volatile global environment.
GfK market researchers said Friday their forward-looking monthly barometer gauging the mood among German consumers eased by 0.2 points for September to 9.9 points, thus hitting its lowest level in about half a year.
The group's chief, Rolf Bürkl, hastened to add, though, that the drop was not steep enough to get nervous.
"Despite the fall, I wouldn't say that domestic consumption is stuttering," Bürkl said in a statement. "The index is still at a rather high level overall."
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But the consumers polled by GfK voiced some concern about slowing growth in China and other major emerging economies and the impact that development might have on Germany's export-oriented economy.
Many respondents said they would refrain from making big-ticket purchases right now, fearing their incomes might not rise as high as expected earlier in the year.
But all in all, domestic consumption would continue to be a major driver for growth in Europe's powerhouse, Bürkl insisted.
"After all, the German labor market is very robust and employment high, leaving room for decent wage increases in the months ahead."
hg/sri (AFP, Reuters, dpa)