The Nuremberg, Germany-based market research company forecast today that its consumer-sentiment index, based on a survey of about 2,000 people, will fall to 5.6 from a revised 5.8 in December. Economists predicted no change from the previous month, according to the median of 28 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.
Germany’s Bundesbank said this week it expects the economy, Europe’s largest, to shrink “markedly” in the fourth quarter before recovering in 2013. Still, business confidence improved for a second month in December after factory orders and exports rose, cementing optimism of growth next year.
“German consumers are expecting the economy to go through a difficult phase in the coming months,” GfK said in an e- mailed statement. “As well as a stable labor market, it’s important that a lasting solution to the European debt crisis is found to ease consumers’ uncertainty.”
A measure of economic expectations fell to minus 17.9 in December from minus 14.6 in November, GfK said. A gauge of income expectations rose to 21.2 from 17.8, and an index measuring willingness to buy fell to 20.1 from 29.4.
Beiersdorf AG raised its full-year sales forecast for the second time in just over a month on Dec. 6, as the maker of Nivea skin cream said revenue at its consumer business would grow more quickly than expected.
There’s “reasonable hope that the phase of economic weakness won’t last too long and Germany will return to growth,” the Bundesbank said on Dec. 7. It predicts expansions of 0.4 percent next year and 1.9 percent in 2014.
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