Some 29 percent of Germans who responded to the worldwide survey conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said they had experienced the economic fallout of the crisis, daily Die Welt reported.
Only the Chinese felt further removed from the crisis, with 25 percent of participants saying they had been affected. Meanwhile a much greater proportion of Americans and Russians, 49 and 71 percent respectively, said they'd felt the pinch.
Perhaps their pocketbooks were spared by spending more time than any other nationality hunting for good deals. Seventy-seven percent admitted they hoped to devote more energy to money-saving endeavours, and 73 percent said they had fun doing so.
“Not just the Germans, but also the other Europeans now have fun saving,” BCG consumer expert Ivan Bascle told the paper. “In the developing nations it is rather a sign of economic worries when consumers pay special attention to price.”
But Germans save without necessity, simply because they enjoy it, he explained.
Despite their good fortune in avoiding the economic downturn, half of the Germans surveyed said they were still worried about the future, though their mood is improving, the study found.
“The optimism is on its way back,” Bascle said. “But it hasn't yet reached its pre-crisis level.”
The number of Germans who said they planned to cut their expenditures fell from 64 percent last December to 44 percent.
But the items and services that Germans buy have changed.
Status symbols and popular brand names are no longer sufficient to justify an expensive purchase, Bascle said.
“Today these products must bring three times the additional value: technical, functional and emotional,” he said, adding that if these are missing, customers choose cheaper items instead.