Berlin The consumer mood clouded by high prices in Germany has stabilized – in time for the Christmas season. “After a long phase with sometimes sharp declines, the mood calmed down a bit in October,” explained the Nuremberg company fiberglass-Market researchers on Thursday. Based on their survey of around 2,000 consumers, they predict an increase in the consumer climate by 0.9 points to minus 41.9 points in November.
This should please retailers in particular, who are hoping for the best sales days possible in the Christmas trade with the originally American sales days “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” at the end of November.
Experts polled by Reuters had expected that the mood, which had been increasingly gloomy for months, would now settle down somewhat. However, according to GfK expert Rolf Bürkl, it is too early to speak of a trend reversal: “As long as inflation remains high and there are doubts about an unrestricted energy supply, the consumer climate will not be able to noticeably and sustainably recover.”
After falling to an all-time low in the previous month, income expectations improved slightly in October. With a plus of 7.2 points, however, only a fraction of the previous month’s losses were made up for: “Explosive energy and food prices reduce the purchasing power of private household incomes and ensure that income pessimism persists.”
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After eight months in a row, the willingness to buy expensive consumer goods such as furniture, computers or televisions has increased again. With a plus of two points, the GfK partial barometer for the propensity to buy reached minus 17.5 points. However, it is still significantly lower than during the corona lockdowns in the past two years.
“The money for purchases is missing”
In view of the sharp rise in energy prices, according to GfK expert Bürkl, households must assume that they will have to spend significantly more money on heating in the future: “This money is therefore not available for other purchases and the propensity to consume will therefore remain low in the coming months.”
Economic expectations did not improve in October. The indicator lost 0.3 points, dropping to minus 22.2 points. “Consumers are assuming that Germany will slide into a recession,” explained Bürkl. This concern is also shared in the management floors of the economy, as can be seen from the Ifo business climate index, which has recently fallen further.