Wary consumers still splash cash at Christmas

Wary consumers still splash cash at Christmas
Photo: DPA

Consumer confidence in Germany appears to be faltering, as fears about Europe's sovereign debt crisis and the slowing economy dents household sentiment, a poll found on Monday.


Market research company GfK said its household confidence index was forecast to ease to 5.9 points in December from 6.1 points in November, a statement said.

The falling confidence figures contrast with the news that 91 percent of Germans plan on buying Christmas presents this year. They said they would be coughing up, on average, €285 each – an increase of nine percent on 2011.

Topping the list of gift ideas were books, games and clothes - trends which have remained unchanged for the past few years. CDs and DVDs were a clear favourite among young people as presents.

Yet GfK said that while consumers' expectations picked up slightly from low levels, their assessment of the current economic situation, their willingness to spend and their income expectations all deteriorated.

"German consumers continue to be unnerved by the European debt crisis and the tangible economic slowdown," the statement said.

The headline consumer confidence reading is based on responses from about 2,000 households on their expectations about pay and the economy as a whole in the coming months, as well as their willingness to spend money.

In recent months, consumer confidence in Europe's top economy has been able to defy the crisis, but there are increasing signs that Germany is feeling the pain as its eurozone partners battle with recession.

AFP/The Local/jcw


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