Austria: Consumer sentiment plummets to near four-year low in March
Consumers in Austria turned notably more pessimistic in March, with the consumer confidence index falling from minus 3 in February to minus 8. The print marked the lowest result since April 2016 as sentiment was likely heavily weighed on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite the steep drop in the headline figure, households remained relatively upbeat regarding their financial situation in both the next and past 12 months; however, views on the general economic situation in the year ahead fell hard. Consequently, Austrians’ propensity to save over the next 12 months rose, despite the European Central Bank’s ultra-loose monetary policy making saving unattractive. In contrast, consumers were less willing to purchase big-ticket items at present.