Along with new data showing German investors at their most anxious in nearly four years, euro zone flash consumer confidence numbers show further signs of Brexit damage to European economic sentiment. David Pollard reports.
They're long-credited as the saviours of the euro zone economy, but even saviours have their doubts. And they begin with a capital B - for Brexit. That blamed for lowering confidence for Germany's mighty consumers - and those elsewhere in the euro zone. Though Brexit might not be the only worry. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, SAYING: "My sense is that it's all about currency, it's all about Brexit, and it's all about immigration and terrorism." And as for the future - plenty of risks there too. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, SAYING: "Perhaps the biggest vulnerability to Germany lies in the vulnerability of Deutsche Bank, its most systemically significant bank, of course, which might ultimately need bailing out." The new data isn't as bad as forecast - unlike the ZEW German investor confidence survey this week. It plummeted to a minus reading from plus 19.2. Adding more weight to worries that Europe too, could get caught in the wake of the UK's Brexit vote. In a new Reuters poll, economists are slashing their euro zone growth forecast to 1.3 per cent - from 1.6 earlier. Further stimulus from the ECB possible, then - with an expansion of its 80 billion euros a month asset purchase programme seen as one option - if not the only one. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, SAYING: "Interest rates in the euro zone may have to fall even further into negative territory which will put even more pressure, of course, on the embattled banking sector." But not yet: many economists predicting a move in September - and only the pledge of further easing expected at its meeting this week.