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No recovery in German consumer sentiment this year -GfK

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© FILE PHOTO: A hand trolley with goods is seen outside a supermarket in Berlin, Germany, March 14, 2020. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/File photo

BERLIN () – German consumer sentiment is set to fall for a third month in a row in November, ending any hopes of a recovery this year as households grapple in particular with high food prices, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The consumer sentiment index fell to -28.1 points heading into November from a slightly revised -26.7 the month before and below expectations of analysts polled by of -26.5.

The drop in the index, published jointly by the GfK institute and the Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions (NIM), was attributed to rising food and energy prices.

A renewed rise in consumers’ propensity to save, to 8.5 points from 8.0 the month before – its highest level in over a decade – reinforced the downward trend in the consumer climate.

“With the third decline in a row, hopes of a recovery in consumer sentiment before the end of the year must be buried for good,” said Rolf Buerkl, consumption expert at NIM.

“The high prices for food are weakening the purchasing power of private households in Germany and ensuring that private consumption will not be a pillar of the economy this year.”

NOV 2023 OCT 2023 NOV 2022

Consumer climate -28.1 -26.7 -41.9

Consumer climate components OCT 2023 SEP 2023 OCT 2022

– willingness to buy -16.3 -16.4 -17.5

– income expectations -15.3 -11.3 -60.5

– business cycle expectations -2.4 -3.4 -22.2

NOTE – The survey period was from Oct. 5-16, 2023.

The consumer climate indicator forecasts the progress of real private consumption in the following month.

An indicator reading above zero signals year-on-year growth in private consumption. A value below zero indicates a drop compared with the same period a year earlier.

According to GfK, a one-point change in the indicator corresponds to a year-on-year change of 0.1% in private consumption.

The “willingness to buy” indicator represents the balance between positive and negative responses to the question: “Do you think now is a good time to buy major items?”

The income expectations sub-index reflects expectations about the development of household finances in the coming 12 months.

The additional business cycle expectations index reflects respondents’ assessment of the general economic situation over the next 12 months.

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