German consumer mood clouds over in July | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 27, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 27, 2019

German consumer mood clouds over in July

Germans’ view of the economy heading into July has darkened, a regular poll published Wednesday found, as global trade conflicts weigh on hopes for a continuing job boom.

Pollsters GfK said their forward-looking consumer confidence barometer fell 0.3 points compared with June, to 9.8.

The survey of around 2,000 people looks at expectations for economic activity and salaries, as well as their openness to making purchases.

For July, consumers’ view of the prospects for the whole economy ended a slide that began in 2018 with a slight increase, but remained at  “a comparatively low level,” GfK said. Readiness to buy also increased, but salary expectations  “suffered a bitter blow,” the pollsters found.

“The number of voices speaking of an end to the employment boom is multiplying, and in consequence many workers’ fear of losing their jobs has grown,” GfK said.

In May, the BA federal labour agency reported rising unemployment for the first time since 2013, adding 0.1 percentage points to reach 5.0.

Meanwhile surveys of investor and business confidence for the coming months have also fallen.

Trade conflicts with the US -- and knock-on effects from Washington’s confrontation with Beijing -- as well as other factors have weighed on the German economy in recent months.

Especially hard hit have been sectors vital to Europe’s powerhouse, like carmaking.

Auto manufacturers must also contend with a transition to building electric cars that will likely require less labour.

“The coming months will show whether this fall is a one-off outlier or the beginning of a change in course for the indicator,” GfK said.

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