The findings of the GfK Consumer Climate Study Germany

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According to the GfK Consumer Climate Study Germany, overall the consumer sentiment was somewhat more moderate in August. While income expectations rose slightly, both economic expectations and propensity to buy declined. As a result, GfK is forecasting a value of -1.2 points in consumer sentiment for September, down 0.8 points from August of this year (revised from -0.4 points). In addition to the decline in propensity to buy, an increasing propensity to save in August is currently causing consumer sentiment to drop. “Significant higher incidence values, a slowdown in vaccination momentum, and discussions about how to deal with unvaccinated individuals in the future have caused noticeable uncertainty among consumers in Germany – Rolf Bürkl, a GfK consumer expert, commented -. They fear that restrictions could even be tightened again. This is obviously depressing consumer sentiment right now”. After reaching a 10-year high in June 2021, consumer euphoria with regards to further economic development in Germany is fading. In August, economic expectations fell for the second time in succession. After losing 13.8 points, the indicator drops to 40.8 points. Despite the losses, economic expectations remain at quite a high level. This is also evidenced by the corresponding year-on-year comparison, which is significant at a plus of 29.1 points. Consumers still see the German economy on the upswing, although they believe that the momentum is likely to somewhat slow down. Besides, in contrast to economic expectations, the income expectations remain solid, with the indicator even gaining slightly (+1.5 points). Currently, income expectations stand at 30.5 points. This is just under 18 points higher than the corresponding figure for the previous year. Finally, the propensity to buy is apparently unable to benefit from the slight rise in income expectations in August, with the indicator dropping 4.5 points, sliding down to 10.3. Compared to the same period last year, the propensity to consume is down by a good 33 points. Consumer sentiment is still subdued despite healthy wallets. Carefree shopping is still not a reality in light of mandatory mask use and distance rules. In addition, the stronger rise in prices is also likely to depress the propensity to consume.

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