German consumer confidence in March fell to -15.5 points from a revised -8.5 points in February; consumer confidence likely to fall further in April as war in Ukraine pushes household economic and income expectations to record lows: GfK

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BERLIN , March 29, 2022 (press release) –

(Reuters) - German consumer confidence is likely to sink in April as the war in Ukraine has pushed household economic and income expectations to new record lows since the 2009 financial crisis, a survey showed on Tuesday.

German institute GfK said its consumer confidence index, based on a survey of some 2,000 German citizens, fell to -15.5 points heading into April from a revised -8.5 points the previous month, the lowest since February 2021.

Analysts polled by Reuters had on average expected the index to fall to -14.0 points.

"In February, there was still hope that consumer confidence would recover with the easing of pandemic-related restrictions. However, the war in Ukraine caused these hopes to fade," Rolf Buerkl, consumer expert at GfK, said in a statement.

Energy prices have suffered the most from increased uncertainty and sanctions against Russia, said Buerkl, who added that a long-term recovery in German consumer confidence would only be possible in the event of a quick ceasefire followed by peace negotiations.

"The domestic economy would again contribute significantly to the overall economic development as a result of reduced uncertainty, and the relaxation of pandemic-related restrictions could also have its positive effect," he said.

The survey was conducted between March 3 and March 14, after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, kicking off the biggest war in Europe since World War II.

(Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska; editing by Miranda Murray; translation by Dario Fernandez)

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