German consumers remain resilient

27 January 2012

BERLIN: Consumer confidence levels are rising in Germany, with knock-on benefits in terms of purchase intent, new figures show.

GfK, the research firm, polled 2,000 adults in the country, and found that its regular barometer of economic expectations increased by 8.4 points month on month, hitting 7.5 points.

"Consumers are battling against the mounting trend towards recession throughout Europe. This is also likely to have an impact on the German economy," the study said. "However, so far, the economic engine in Germany is still running smoothly."

When discussing the outlook for their personal income levels, scores rose by a modest 0.1 points from the last research round, logging 34.1 points, a comparatively high total in historical terms.

Alongside a relatively robust labour market, inflation is due to be remain modest, at around 2% in 2012, having achieved an average of 2.3% over the course of 2011, both aiding this process.

"Despite the expected weakening of the economy this year, the employment situation will remain positive. Companies also continue to look to the future with optimism," GfK added.

Turning to shoppers' "willingness to buy", ratings leapt by 14.4 points to 41.8 points. This followed on from a decline of 12.9 points in the previous month, and marked the best figures on record since December 2006.

"There are several reasons for this remarkably strong desire to buy among Germans," the analysis argued, including relatively high employment security and stable prices.

Looking forward, the study predicted the overall consumer confidence indicator would reach 5.9 points in February, improving on the 5.7 points yielded in January.

Data sourced from GfK; additional content by Warc staff