Austria: Consumer sentiment plunges to over decade-low in April
Consumer sentiment in Austria fell to its lowest level since May 2009 in April, with the consumer confidence index plummeting to minus 18 from minus 8 in March. This marked the steepest drop in the survey’s history. The fall in the index has been heavily influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic and government measures to curb the spread of the virus.
Consumers’ views on their financial situation and the general economic situation in the next 12 months deteriorated markedly, dropping deeply into pessimistic territory. Consequently, more Austrians expected unemployment to rise going forward. Reflective of the uncertain economic times, consumers were less likely to purchase big-ticket items in the year ahead; moreover, their propensity to save rose despite rock-bottom interest rates.
Consumer confidence is likely to remain depressed going forward despite the gradual lifting of lockdown measures, as the longevity of the economic impact of the pandemic remains uncertain. This will feed through to lower consumer spending this year.