February 20, 2020 / 7:14 AM / 5 months ago

Gripped with coronavirus fears, German consumers pinch their pennies - GfK

FILE PHOTO: People walk on a shopping street in the southern German town of Konstanz January 17, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

BERLIN (Reuters) - German consumer morale deteriorated slightly in February as fears that the coronavirus outbreak in China would worsen a slowdown in Europe’s biggest economy made Germans less willing to take out their wallets, a survey showed on Thursday.

The Nuremberg-based GfK institute said its survey of around 2,000 Germans showed consumer sentiment falling to 9.8 points in February from 9.9 points a month earlier, in line with a Reuters poll.

“The spread of the coronavirus has undoubtedly contributed to uncertainty among consumers,” said GfK researcher Rolf Buerkl.

A sub-index measuring income outlook also fell, the survey showed. Consumers fear unemployment in Germany could rise if the outbreak seriously disrupts production in China and impacts supplies to Germany, Buerkl added.

The mood among German investors also deteriorated in February on worries that the coronavirus outbreak would dampen world trade, a survey on Tuesday by ZEW research institute showed.

GfK said the survey was conducted from Jan. 29 to Feb. 10, 2020.

Editing by Joseph Nasr

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