The percentage of German companies fearing for their survival fell at the start of the year across all sectors, although high inflation and low consumption continued to plague retailers in particular, a survey released on Wednesday showed.

Some 4.8% of companies polled by the Ifo economic institute considered their business under threat in January, down from 6.3% in December, the institute said.

"The economic slowdown is thus unlikely to leave any major traces in the form of corporate insolvencies," Ifo's head of surveys Klaus Wohlrabe said.

The fear of insolvency was most visible in the retail sector, where 8.3% of companies said their survival was in jeopardy compared with 9.7% in December. (Reporting by Rachel More; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)