European consumers downbeat

23 February 2011

LONDON: A majority of European consumers expect rising prices to exert a negative impact on their lifestyle during the next six months, a survey has revealed.

Newspaper the Financial Times and research firm Harris Interactive polled 6,416 people in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and US.

Over 80% of French and Spanish participants argued increasing costs would have an undesirable influence on their personal circumstances going forward.

Italian sentiment fell just below this benchmark, and all of the other featured nations recorded a minimum 70% on the equivalent metric.

More specifically, nearly 60% of interviewees in France and Spain, and at least 40% of Americans, Britons and Germans predicted inflation should yield a "strong" or "very strong" effect.

By contrast, 2% of the French panel believed they were unlikely to witness any substantial differences as a consequence of such trends, standing at 3% in Spain.

This compared with 22% and 30% anticipating a "very strong" shift as prices climb.

Only 4% of the UK sample, and 5% in the US, thought their lifestyle would be largely untouched as a result of the same processes.

Germany posted the best score here, albeit still logging a meagre 7%, measured against 40% forecasting a profound alteration in individual and household circumstances.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff