Germany: Consumer confidence moderates again in October, but remains high
September 24, 2015
In October, the mood among German consumers recorded a slight moderation for the second straight month. The forward-looking consumer confidence indicator published by the GfK Group inched down from September’s 9.9 points to 9.6 points in October, slightly weaker than the 9.8 points that markets had expected. Consumer confidence has moderated in the past months since peaking at an over-13-year high in June.
According to GfK, “the damper in consumer sentiment in August this year was not a fluke. Economic expectations have declined the most. In light of the global economic risks, numerous flash points, and the recent sharp increase and largely uncontrolled influx of refugees, citizens apparently have increasing doubts regarding further economic development. Nevertheless, the indicator is at a very good level. In consideration of the extremely positive development of the retail sector, it can be assumed that the consumption will continue to be an important pillar of the economy this year overall.”
In addition to the overall consumer confidence indicator, which estimates consumer sentiment in the coming month, the GfK elaborates on three sub-indicators, which refer to the previous month. In September, households’ expectations for the overall economy worsened for a fourth consecutive month. GfK pointed out that consumers remain upbeat about domestic conditions but are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of turbulent international developments on the German economy. In terms of income expectations, consumers rated their prospects as somewhat less favorable for the second straight month amid fears of a slowdown in the labor market. Finally, consumer’s willingness to buy recorded a fourth moderate decline in a row due to a weaker economic and income outlook, but still exceeded the previous year’s reading.