Germany: Consumer confidence stabilizes at high level in August; income expectations on the rise
July 29, 2015
In August, the mood among German consumers stabilized at a high level, after recording its first moderation in nine months over concerns surrounding the uncertainties in Greece in the previous month. Prior to July’s moderation, consumer sentiment had climbed to an over-13-year high in June. The forward-looking consumer confidence indicator published by the GfK remained at July’s 10.1 points for August. According to GfK, August’s reading suggests that, “personal consumption in Germany will be a significant pillar of the economy this year. But domestic conditions are not the only factors playing a role. The international situation, with crises in Europe and in the Middle East, is putting a damper on confidence in the domestic economy. Above all, the euro debt crisis and the future of Greece play an important role in this context.”
In addition to the overall consumer confidence indicator, which estimates consumer confidence in the coming month, the GfK elaborates on three sub-indicators, which refer to the previous month. In July, households’ income expectations continued to improve, reaching yet another record-high and driven by solid domestic conditions, a strong labor market and rising wages. Conversely, households’ expectations regarding the general economy recorded a notable setback for a second consecutive month. Nonetheless, the GfK pointed out that economic expectations still remained well above their long-term average. Consumers’ willingness to buy also declined in July, albeit to a much lesser extent.