Germans are still in the mood for consumption. "Apparently unimpressed by external risks such as the trade conflict and brexit, consumers are prepared to spend their money," says the new consumer climate study by the nurnberg-based market researcher gfk.
Because saving is still not an attractive alternative in view of the extremely low interest rates. The tendency to put money aside has even fallen again recently.
Thanks to the good economic situation and the buoyant labor market, very few consumers in germany fear for their jobs. "This is boosting consumption – and here above all, more coarse purchases," the gfk announced. For november, the researchers expect their consumer climate index to remain at 10.6 points – unchanged compared to the previous month.
Consumers still expect the german economy to remain on a solid growth path this year and next, said gfk consumer researcher rolf burkl. However, their optimism about the economy has waned somewhat compared to last year. The reasons for this are likely to be the trade conflict between the USA, china and the EU, which has still not been resolved, and the imminent exit of great britain from the EU.
"On the stock exchange, people would say: now a small correction is setting in," burkl. He does not think that the upward trend in economic expectations has now stopped and is turning into a downward trend. "I assume that it is a temporary weak phase."
Consumers remain positive about their incomes: "there is no reason for them to be in any way more worried at the moment, because the labor market is doing brilliantly, the number of job vacancies is still very high and income growth is good for consumers, so that they also have more in their wallets in real terms," said burkl. Pensioners also benefited from the good wage development.
For the year as a whole, the gfk expects private consumption to rise by 1.5 percent in real terms. "As things stand at present, I see a stable development in the consumer climate in the coming months and into the coming year," said burkl.
The linchpin, they say, is the labor market trend. But there are also certain risks associated with diesel and inflation – for example, if inflation rates were to rise above 2 percent. And if exports of diesel cars should collapse, employees in these industries could fear for their jobs and thus look harder at the money.
The consumer climate study is based on around 2,000 consumer interviews conducted monthly on behalf of the european union. The consumer climate not only refers to retail spending, but also includes rent, travel, and health.