The mood among German consumers heading into October remains at one of the highest levels in more than a decade, despite worsening slightly. But, as David Pollard reports, consumer spending isn't as strong everywhere in Europe.
Famously frugal, but now it seems the German consumer is spending big time. Record employment, strong wage growth and cheap money making big ticket items affordable. And keeping the GfK consumer confidence index at one of its highest levels in a decade. But - it is still down on the previous month. (10.0 v 10.2) And a sub index looking at economic expectations fell for the third time in a row. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GFK CONSUMER EXPERT, ROLF BUERKL, SAYING: "Great Britain leaving the EU and the significantly increased terror threat in Germany are creating a certain amount of insecurity with consumers. Psychological elements play an important role." There's a similar pattern to the latest data out of the UK. Consumer confidence recovering slightly in September in the wake of the June Brexit referendum. (111.1 v 107.1) But figures for job security over the next 12 months were the lowest since February. Even as expectations for household finances and house values perked up. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "Consumers not showing really the kind of uncertainty that many had predicted for the referendum. Obviously, the uncertainty of the economy may weigh on business sentiment in the medium term, but we're not getting that short-term hit to consumption that some had feared." French numbers came in flat - though householder's outlook improved slightly. Italy's latest consumer confidence reading fell again - to its lowest level since July of last year. Though despite stagnant output recently, manufacturing confidence rose. One small fillip to prime minister, Matteo Renzi, as he prepares his country for a make-or-break referendum on reform.