Germany: Consumer confidence expected to ease somewhat in April
Sentiment among German consumers is expected to ease in April according to the GfK Group Consumer Climate Index, which edged down to 10.4 from a revised 10.7 in March (previously reported: 10.8). Going further forward, consumer confidence is expected to remain elevated, although it could take a hit if uncertainty related to Brexit and trade protectionism rises.
Backward-looking indicators for March that underpin the consumer confidence index painted a mixed picture. Economic expectations among consumers rose sharply in March, despite a gloomy external environment affecting the important and export-orientated external sector. The downturn is due to outside effects, however, and this is simultaneously supporting consumers positive outlook on the domestic economy. Domestically, unemployment remained at a post-unification low in February and activity in the services sector picked up pace in January and February. On the other hand, both income expectations and propensity to buy decreased somewhat in March; however, both sub-indicators remained at elevated levels on the back of the robust domestic economy.