Morale among German consumers has steadied going into August. As Ciara Lee reports higher income expectations were once again offset by concerns over Greece.
A quiet day in Athens in more ways than one. The country's stock exchange remains shut since the end of June after the government closed banks to stop them from collapsing. It may open this week but with restrictions put in place by the ECB. As the searing sun beats down on Athens, the heat of the crisis continues to be felt across Europe. Morale among German consumers steadied approaching August. Higher income expectations were offset by concerns that a deal to keep Greece in the euro zone will weigh on Germany's economy. BGC's Mike Ingram. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MIKE INGRAM, MARKET STRATEGIST, BGC PARTNERS, SAYING: "Creditor nations, in particular Germany, haven't been willing to stimulate consumer demand, domestic consumption, and help with that rebalancing process. So yes, I think German consumer confidence and German consumer spending is absolutely key to the thesis of a recovery in the euro zone." The consumer angst over Greece wasn't felt in corporate Germany though. Business confidence rose in July as an agreement to hold talks about a third bailout lifted the mood. . Overall, Germany's economy is expected to maintain growth - but only just - at 0.3 percent In Spain things were also sluggish despite the economy emerging from a deep crisis. Spanish retail sales rose in June for an 11th month in a row. But at 2.3 percent that was their slowest pace in seven months.