German consumers remain anxious

28 June 2012

BERLIN: Consumers in Germany are more anxious than their counterparts in Greece, despite the very different economic situations currently facing the two countries.

GfK Verein, the research group, polled 13,300 people across Europe, and found German respondents believed they were facing an average of 2.6 major problems to be solved, although this had fallen from 3.7 last year.

This left the country level with France, and ahead of Greece, on 2.4 problems. The European average was two complaints per person, with unemployment, inflation and economic instability the main issues cited. Sweden posted a score of just 1.1 worries, however.

More specifically, a third of Germans were anxious about the state of the job market, but this did constitute a drop from over 50% in 2011, and was the lowest score on this measure since the poll began in 1990.

"Germany is the only country in Europe that managed to decrease unemployment during the recession. According to predictions from the Economic Research Institute, this will continue in 2012," Raimund Wildner, managing director of GfK Verein, said.

By contrast, 24% of interviewees in the country had doubts about economic stability, a reading that had increased by ten percentage points on an annual basis, and is returning towards 2009 and 2010 levels.

A quarter of Germans also expressed their unease about the prospect of inflation, but even this total could be measured against a third of the sample last year.

Energy prices and rising poverty also featured on the list of the most widely-mentioned troubles facing Germany, whereas reassurance hardened in the areas of social security, healthcare and education.

Data sourced from GfK; additional content by Warc staff