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Conflicts weighing heavily on German consumers

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BERLIN (AP) -- A closely-watched survey shows economic expectations among German consumers have "completely collapsed" over concerns about the conflicts in Iraq, Israel and Ukraine.

The GfK institute said Wednesday its latest index of economic expectations slid 35.5 points in August to 10.4 - the largest one-month decline since the survey began in 1980. Its headline forward-looking consumer climate indicator also fell to 8.6 for September from 8.9 in August.

In addition to the conflicts, GfK says "the gradually accelerating spiral of sanctions in Russia have now also had a negative impact on the previously extremely optimistic economic outlook of Germans."

Europe's largest economy shrank a quarterly rate of 0.2 percent in the second quarter.

The poll of 2,000 consumers is conducted on behalf of the European Union's executive European Commission.

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