Brussels (Brussels Morning) German consumer confidence for September dropped due to rising inflation and COVID-19 cases, a survey by market research company GfK showed on Thursday.
The survey, conducted on a sample of approximately 2,000 Germans, shows the consumer sentiment index for September dropping to -1.2 points from -0.4 points the month before, according to Reuters reporting on Thursday.
“Prices have been rising rapidly since the middle of this year,” GfK consumer expert Rolf Bürkl observed and added “this has a dampening effect on the consumer mood.”
Consumer prices grew 3.1% on the annual level in July and reached a 13-year high, spurring a discussion on the growth of inflation.
Bürkl pointed out that rising coronavirus infections coupled with the slowing of vaccination affected consumers’ expectations and their willingness to buy.
Nearly 60% fully vaccinated
The Robert Koch Institute noted that 11,561 new infections were confirmed in Germany on Wednesday, with the seven-day incidence rate at 61.3 per 100,000 people. Roughly 64.4% of Germans have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, with approximately 59.4% fully vaccinated.
Willingness to buy dropped from 14.8 points last month to 10.3 points, income expectations increased from 29 points to 30.5 points and business cycle expectations dropped from 54.6 points to 40.8 points.
GfK pointed out that income expectations reflect expected household finances in the next 12 months, while business cycle expectations reflect the assessment of respondents of the overall economic situation in the coming 12 months.
Willingness to buy represents the ratio between positive and negative assessment of respondents of whether “now is a good time to buy major items.”
GfK’s consumer climate index stood at -1.8 points for September last year, in contrast with -1.2 points for September this year.
GfK pointed out that indicators above zero show annual growth, while those below zero correspond to annual decline. A change of one point corresponds to annual change of 0.1%, GfK noted.