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German consumer confidence stalls: survey

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Consumer confidence in Germany has stalled amid fears of a possible resurgence of the euro crisis, a poll found on Wednesday.

Political gridlock in Italy and the Cyprus crisis could sour sentiment in Europe's biggest economy, even if it was too early to gauge exactly what effect the latter would have, since the poll was carried out before Nicosia reached a bailout deal with its international lenders, market research company GfK said in a statement.

GfK's household confidence index was forecast to remain unchanged at 5.9 points in April, a statement said.

GfK said that while both consumers' income expectations and their willingness slipped slightly, their economic expectations rose fractionally.

"The political stalemate following the elections in Italy has brought the topic of the euro crisis back into the headlines," GfK said.

"But that is not having a lasting effect on consumer sentiment in Germany," it said. "Economic expectations have risen, which suggests that consumers are fairly relaxed with regard to the economy," it said.

"It remains to be seen how the escalation of the debt crisis in Cyprus will affect sentiment," GfK added.

The headline consumer confidence reading is based on responses from about 2,000 households on their expectations about pay and the economy as a whole in the coming months, as well as their willingness to spend money.

Other recent confidence indicators -- such as the ZEW investor confidence index and the Ifo business climate index -- have also stalled recently amid concerns that the long-running sovereign debt crisis could flare up again.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130327/german-consumer-confidence-stalls-survey