The cheerful mood among German shoppers clouded unexpectewdly heading into October, a survey showed, suggesting that consumer-led upswing in Europe's biggest economy could lose some steam in coming months. David Pollard reports.
They have record employment levels, cheap credit and rising wages ... But German consumers are less cheerful as they head into October. The GkF consumer sentiment indicator has come in below forecasts at 10.8. From 10.9 the previous month .... Though that was the highest reading in 16 years. SOUNDBITE (English) CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "The PMIs, the surveys that we get from businesses on a month by month basis, are touching 60 which is really, really good levels at the moment, so I wouldn't be too overly worried about a slight fall in in Germany in German consumption." The other data of the day bolsters that view. Germany's top economic institutes sharply raising their growth forecast to 1.9 percent this year, two per cent next. That's not to say there are no worries at all. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GFK CONSUMER RESEARCHER, ROLF BUERKL, SAYING: "Recently, prices have risen more sharply than in previous months and this probably led to income expectations being perceived more moderately." Last weekend's electoral shakeup could also bite as Germany searches for a new government. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GFK CONSUMER RESEARCHER, ROLF BUERKL, SAYING: "Coalition negotiations will probably take a while. They will be very difficult and they could turn into a political impasse." Wolfgang Schaueble's departure from the role of finance minister may, it's thought, unblock the negotiations. But Europe's leading economy will in the meantime be without one of its steadiest hands. A new but nervous prospect for Germany, its consumers, and its neighbours.