A German spending spree "seems unlikely"
German consumer confidence is fading, hit by the threat of unemployment, according to a survey.
The GfK market research group consumer climate index stood at 3.2 points in February, down from 3.4 in January.
"In terms of consumption, 2010 is likely to be a more difficult year than 2009", said the group.
Europe's biggest economy contracted by 5% in 2009 - its worst fall for 60 years. GfK reported concern over a slight weakening in economic recovery.
The consumer confidence indicator is based on a survey of about 2,000 Germans.
Saving not spending
"This is confirmation that a growth contribution will not come from private consumption this year," said Klaus Schruefer of SEB.
"The tax cuts are definitely having a stabilising effect, but consumers will save rather than spend a lot of that," argued Mr Schruefer. "The economic recovery will have to come from exports this year," he suggested.
Other analysts suggested that a political debate on whether or not to cut taxes had dented consumers' optimism.
"Looking ahead, a spending spree seems rather unlikely given Germans' inclination to save," said Carsten Brzeski of ING Financial Markets.