Consumer sentiment is better than it has been since April 2020

Cologne’s Schildergasse shopping street

Germans are optimistic about winter and are therefore consuming more.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin Despite the recent rapid increases in prices, consumer sentiment is better than it has been in almost a year and a half. In their consumer climate barometer published on Tuesday, the Nuremberg market researchers at GfK forecast a value of 0.3 points for October, which is 1.4 points more than in September.

A better value was last measured in April 2020. Experts polled by Reuters had expected a slight decrease to minus 1.6 points.

According to GfK, rising income prospects and the increasing propensity to consume are currently contributing to the recovery of the consumer climate. At the same time, citizens were no longer putting so much money on the high edge in the waning pandemic crisis.

Consumers are becoming more confident that the fourth corona wave will be less pronounced than many feared: “Even if the consumer climate has almost returned to its pre-crisis level, it remains to be seen whether we can speak of a fundamental trend reversal,” warned the GfK expert Rolf Bürkl at the same time. Above all, it also depends on how the infection process will develop in the winter months and whether new restrictions would be necessary.

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The willingness of citizens to buy expensive goods such as furniture and cars also increased in September. After a plus of 3.1 points, the barometer currently has a value of 13.4 points, which, according to GfK, corresponds to a low level.

Income prospects are increasing

Mask requirement and distance rules still dampened the desire to shop despite well-filled wallets, explained GfK expert Bürkl. Only when these restrictions are removed will the propensity to consume be able to recover sustainably.

After the income prospects had stagnated in the previous month, they picked up noticeably in September. Emerging discussions about inflation risks apparently played hardly any role.

According to GfK, this is also shown by the fact that consumer price expectations even fell slightly in September. In Germany, the inflation rate of 3.9 percent is currently higher than it has been since the end of 1993, as energy and food in particular have recently become more expensive.

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