European consumers in mixed mood

23 April 2012

BERLIN: Consumers in Germany are the most optimistic in Europe, but the mood in the majority of other key regional markets remains mixed at best, new figures show.

GfK, the research group, surveyed 40,000 people in 12 countries including France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, together making up around 80% of the European Union's total population.

Currently, Germany is the only nation where shoppers are positive regarding the economic outlook, posting a rating of 7.2 points.

Elsewhere, the analysis revealed that sentiment has improved considerably in France, climbing from the -54.1 points registered in November 2011 to -10.4 points at present.

Similarly, Polish opinion on this matter has seen a meaningful shift, from -38.3 points in December 2011 to -6.2 points today.

The markets where these figures are still extremely negative incorporate the Czech Republic on -62.7 points, Greece on -50.8 points and Portugal on -40.6 points.

When assessing their likely future disposable income levels, German contributors again proved to be the most upbeat on 34.3 points, ahead of Poland on -14 points and Austria on -21.2 points.

The Greek panel returned -60.2 points, compared with -48.4 points in Italy and -46.4 points in Portugal, reflecting the profound financial challenges facing these three economies.

Germany once again led in terms of the "willingness to buy" index, on 38.6 points, followed by Austria on 26.6 points. Poland, in third, was on -3.6 points.

The UK actually recorded the worst score here on -49.5 points, with Greece on -48.5 points and Portugal on -41.5 points.

Data sourced from GfK; additional content by Warc staff