Europeans, no strangers themselves to terrorist atrocities, are now undergoing a similar crisis of confidence to that of their US cousins.

Just one day after a key indicator of US consumer confidence fell to its lowest level in ten years, a post-attack survey of Dutch consumers produced a seasonally adjusted drop of nine points – the steepest plunge since the Asian financial meltdown in 1998. This is expected to fall even further over the coming months in the light of general global economic gloom.

Similarly, a survey of British consumer confidence published Wednesday showed a slight but significant decline from its former buoyancy.

The same day, a German retail association predicted a 0.5% fall in German retail sales this year followed by zero growth in 2002. According to the association’s president, Hermann Franzen, the terrorist attacks had contributed to the decline: “I expect that the anticipated upturn will be delayed,” he opined.

News source: Wall Street Journal