German consumers growing jittery over possible trade war

A survey shows concerns about a possible trade war with the United States and geopolitical issues like the West’s confrontation with Russia in the Syria conflict are beginning to weigh on German consumers.

The GfK research company said Thursday its forward-looking consumer climate index dropped 0.1 points to 10.8 overall in May.

In its sub-index, it says consumers’ economic expectations dropped strongly and income expectations also fell, while their propensity to make purchases remained strong.

Recent surveys have shown businesses and financial analysts are also jittery, though GfK notes “the general conditions in the domestic market continue to be quite favorable.”

GfK says it’s still predicting a private consumption increase of about 2 percent in 2018 on the assumption that “the emerging insecurity among consumers is not further aggravated.”

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