The consumer sentiment among German consumers remained stable in November – at a still low level. However, fears of an energy price shock are diminishing somewhat.
For the consumer climate in November, GfK calculated an index value of minus 41.9 points, which is an increase of 0.9 points compared to October. For December, the institute forecasts a further increase of 1.7 points to minus 40.2 points.
Income expectations are rising again
Accordingly, people’s fear of sharply rising energy prices in particular has recently “weakened somewhat”. The “persistently stable employment situation” and the hope of wage increases, as recently seen in the metal industry, are also contributing to a certain improvement in mood, explained GfK consumer expert Rolf Bürkl on Friday.
The index of income expectations rose in November by 6.2 points to minus 54.3 – the second time in a row. The economic outlook for consumers increased by 4.3 points to minus 17.9 points in November. The propensity to buy index fell over the course of the month – by 1.1 points to minus 18.6 points.
Significantly less consumption than in the previous year
All values are far below the comparison levels of the same month last year, as GfK emphasized. Overall, consumer pessimism is declining. However, a noticeable recovery in the consumer climate can only be expected when doubts about a problem-free energy supply disappear and the high inflation decreases.
Private consumption is an important pillar of the economy. According to GfK, German consumers and economists agree that “a recession can no longer be avoided in the near future”. Private consumption will therefore also not make any contribution to the economy in 2023.
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For its representative studies on the consumer climate, GfK conducts monthly interviews with consumers about their economic expectations, their income expectations and their propensity to buy. For the current survey, around 2000 people were interviewed from November 3rd to 14th.