German consumer confidence for December drops slightly in the face of European debt crisis and deterioration of economic situation, but their shopping willingness remained at a high level, a survey showed on Monday.
The Nuremberg-based research company GfK said in a statement that German consumer climate, the overall indicator describing consumers' confidence, dropped to 5.9 for December, following a downwardly revised figure of 6.1 for November, the same level as for October.
"Despite this slightly decrease, the level is satisfactory. Private consumption is continuing to fulfill its role of being a key pillar for the German economy," said GfK.
The survey, based on monthly interviews of around 2,000 consumers, showed that index for German consumers' willingness of shopping was 29.4 points in November, a drop of 4.5 point on that in October.
Despite the drop, "the indicator is still at an extremely good level of 29.4. It has therefore consistently been in the region of between 30 and 40 points for more than two years," said GfK.
GfK said that the Germans' willingness of shopping was attributed to positive labor market figures, low interest rate, as well as the uncertainty regarding the European debt crisis.
"Consumers are preferring to make expensive purchases, rather than hand their money over to the banks," it said.
The survey also showed that Germans' expectation for income fell by 12.1 points in November to 17.8 points. Despite the significant drop which doubled the increase seen in the previous month, the overall mood regarding income stayed well above the long-term average of zero points.
"Germans are not becoming more fearful of recession," GfK said.
German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) confirmed last Friday that gross domestic products (GDP) of Germany only grew by 0.2 percent in the third quarter of 2012, further slower than in the previous three months.
German government also expected the economic growth this year to be 0.8 percent, significantly lower than the rate of 3.0 percent in 2011.
Munich-based Ifo Institute, however, published a survey last Friday showing that German business was regaining its confidence, with a climb of business climate index from 100.0 in October to 101.4 in November, the first rebound since March 2012.
"Until now, the fall (of German exports to the eurozone) has been compensated for through the continued good export situation with other economic areas, such as Asia and the USA," said GfK.