BERLIN, Oct 24 (Reuters) - German consumer morale picked up heading into November after slight declines in the previous two months, suggesting consumers feel confident about their own incomes and are willing to spend even though Germany’s economy is slowing.
Market research group GfK said on Friday that its forward-looking consumer sentiment indicator, based on a survey of around 2,000 Germans, rose to 8.5 going into November from a revised 8.4 in October. It had touched 7 1/2 year highs of 8.9 in July and August.
The results exceeded even the highest estimate of 8.3 in a Reuters poll of 30 economists. The consensus forecast was for a reading of 8.0.
“The consumer climate has, for the time being, escaped the impact of the economic slowdown as a result of the various international crises. Private consumption can therefore continue to play its assigned role as a key pillar of the German economy,” said GfK analyst Rolf Buerkl.
The German economy shrank 0.2 percent in the second quarter and grim output, orders and trade data in recent months have led economists to expect little or no growth in the third quarter.
Earlier this month, the government sharply cut its growth forecasts to 1.2 percent for this year and 1.3 percent for next, blaming the crises abroad and moderate global growth.
The GfK reported that Germans’ expectations for their own incomes rose however, as did their willingness to buy, hinting at freer spending in the future.
German consumers are benefiting from high employment, rising wages and moderate inflation, breeding confidence about their own economic prospects, the report said.
A subindex measuring personal income expectations rose to 46.9 from a previous 43.4 points.
“It is anticipated that this positive development in income expectations will continue over the coming year,” Buerkl said.
But he warned that if international crises escalated, the German consumer climate would not be immune.
For a related table, click on (Editing by Catherine Evans)