German investor sentiment fell slightly in August on concerns that the rising cost of living will hit private consumption in Europe's largest economy, which is on the brink of recession.

The ZEW economic research institute said on Tuesday its economic sentiment index fell to -55.3 points from -53.8 in July. A Reuters poll had pointed to an August reading of -53.8.

"The still high inflation rates and the expected additional costs for heating and energy lead to a decrease in profit expectations for the private consumption sector," ZEW researcher Michael Schroeder said in a statement.

(Writing by Paul Carrel Editing by Madeline Chambers)