Austria: Consumer confidence records worst reading since April 2009 in March
Consumer confidence came in at minus 20.0 in March, down from February’s minus 8.0. March’s result marked the worst reading since April 2009. As a result, the index moved further south of the neutral zero-point threshold and signaled that consumers turned more pessimistic.
The headline deterioration in sentiment came on the back of notably more downbeat views on the financial situation of households in the past 12 and the next 12 months, while sentiment regarding the general economic climate in the year ahead nosedived. These developments are linked to the escalation of tensions in Eastern Europe that ledto a full-blown war in Ukraine. The war has seen energy commodity prices spike, and Austria, which is highly reliant on Russian gas, has been hit particularly hard. As such, views on inflation in the next 12 months deteriorated. A higher energy bill has also eaten into consumers’ pockets and, as a result, sentiment regarding major purchases in the year soured.