The Nuremberg, Germany-based market research company forecast today that its consumer-sentiment index, based on a survey of about 2,000 people, will remain at 5.9 next month, the level it reached in March. That’s in line with the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 30 economists.
German business confidence unexpectedly fell this month as Italy remains without a government and Cyprus has reignited concerns about the euro, roiling financial markets. Still, the Bundesbank predicts the German economy will expand in the current quarter after contracting 0.6 percent in the final three months of last year.
“The ongoing recession in the euro zone and the danger of a renewed eruption of the debt crisis have thus far not been damping the economic mood,” GfK said in an e-mailed statement. While the upward trend in consumers’ sentiment has come to an end, they “clearly consider the German economy to be robust at present.”
A measure of economic expectations rose in March to 0.6 from minus 2.5 in February, GfK said. An index measuring willingness to buy fell to 36.2 from 37.0, while a gauge of income expectations declined to 29.4 from 31.8.
Germany’s unemployment rate will probably remain at 6.9 percent this month, close to a record low, according to a separate survey. That data is due to be released tomorrow.
“The stable labor market, rising income and moderate prices all suggest” consumer sentiment will remain stable in the coming weeks, even as turmoil in Cyprus has the potential to renew fears of a worsening debt crisis, GfK said.
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