It’s all sunshine and roses, but mostly roses: What Germans want for Valentinstag

What do Germans really want on Valentine's Day? We break down what Germans say are the best - and worst - gifts.

It’s all sunshine and roses, but mostly roses: What Germans want for Valentinstag
Photo: DPA

The annual day of love on February 14th isn't as big in Germany as it is in countries like the US. But since the 1950s Valentine's Day has grown increasingly popular across the country.

The day associated with boxes of chocolate and red roses hasn't always been a thing in Germany. 

It was only in the 1950s after the Second World War that sending out cards and giving gifts first appeared. American soldiers stationed in Germany at the time are believed to have brought along some of their traditions with them, including Valentinstag.

The first Valentine's Ball is said to have taken place in Nuremberg in 1950. The tradition slowly caught on over the next few decades. Whereas in the 1970s many Germans still had no idea what Valentine's Day was, nowadays it's gained a foothold across the country.

This can especially be seen in Germany's flower industry – which profits significantly from the annual holiday.

The following chart from Statista shows what Valentine’s Day gifts are considered the best among men and women in Germany in 2020. 

Photo: Statista

Flowers still top the list, followed by dinner out in a restaurant, and then sweets. 

There are some things that Germans don't want for Valentine's Day as well. 

Photo: Statista 

Germany: new global Valentine’s Day champion? 

While Germany was slow to fall in love with Valentine’s Day, a recent “Love Index” carried out by Mastercard shows that Valentine’s Day sales are growing in Germany, even as they are slowing or even declining in other parts of the world. 

The Mastercard Love Index combines data from credit, debit, and prepaid card transactions from around the world to analyze spending in the “love economy.” 

 Photo: Mastercard Deutschland

According to the study, Valentine’s Day expenses in Germany have risen by 24 percent since 2017. Around €40 million was spent on the holiday across the country in 2019, up by 40 percent since the previous year. 

In Germany, there is an increase in so-called experience gifts, such as trips and romantic outings. While growth in sales of traditional Valentine’s cards has slowed globally, it is up by 12 percent in Germany. 

Still, flowers seem to win the day in Deutschland. While the growth in flower sales is also slowing globally, German spending on flowers rose by 49 percent last year.

So, if you want to celebrate Valentine’s like the Germans, head to the local florist. 

Happy spending!


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Here’s how Germany’s Kinderbonus payments ‘boosted economy’ in pandemic

Germany's coronavirus cash payment to families was found to be a more efficient and cost-effective way of boosting spending than lowering VAT, a new study shows.

Here's how Germany's Kinderbonus payments 'boosted economy' in pandemic
Families got a cash boost in the pandemic. Photo: DPA

The German government introduced a raft of measures – including the Kinderbonus and slashing VAT rates – aimed at boosting the economy.

The move was to get people spending money again after the shutdown in spring 2020 to slow the spread of Covid-19.

And now, as the government announced it is to give out another Kinderbonus this year, a new study has highlighted the positive effects of the one-off cash boost to families.

The €300 payment per child given out in autumn 2020 effectively boosted private household consumption, according to research by the Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK) of the Hans Böckler Foundation.

According to the study, the ratio between the costs invested by the government and the benefits for the economy was better with the Kinderbonus than with the temporary reduction of VAT, in place between July and December last year.

In a survey from November 2020, 37 percent of respondents said they had already spent the Kinderbonus in full.

Another 27 percent had spent the one-time payment at least partially. On average, 51 percent of all households who received the payment had spent it on private consumption at that time. The remaining amount was saved or used to pay off debts.

With about 18 million children whose parents are entitled to child benefit, €2.8 billion has flowed into the economy through spending by private households since the bonus was paid out, calculations by the IMK show.

Since the federal government invested a total of about €4.3 billion in the scheme, this measure is very efficient, researchers said.

READ ALSO: How Germany plans to increase child benefits and provide tax relief

VAT reduction was more costly

A second economic stimulus measure, the temporary reduction of VAT, cost the government considerably more: a total of €20 billion according to the Finance Ministry.

In the IMK survey, however, the majority of respondents said that in their perception, the VAT reduction had only been partially passed on to consumers. Meanwhile, just under 30 per cent were of the opinion that the tax cut had been passed on for the most part.

Nevertheless, according to 79 percent of the respondents, the VAT reduction had no noticeable impact on consumer behaviour. Only 16 percent used the tax cut to bring forward planned purchases, 4.5 percent to make additional purchases.

The study did not record how much money the respondents spent on additional or purchases that were brought forward.

But the Munich-based ifo Institute for Economic Research calculated an average consumption effect of about €152 per household. This would result in additional expenditure of about €6.3 billion. This corresponds to about one third of the cost of the tax cut.

The IMK also concludes from the data that above all, households with higher incomes used the VAT cut for additional purchases.

The Kinderbonus, on the other hand, had specifically reached households with low to medium incomes, and who were often confronted with additional costs over the course of the pandemic.

One-off payment to everyone 'would also boost economy'

Since, in contrast to the tax cut, not everyone benefited from the Kinderbonus, the IMK also asked households without children how they would use a hypothetical one-off payment of €500.

The answers show that the respondents would spend on average about 41 percent of such an additional income.

The study concludes that the consumption-increasing effect of the Kinderbonus is likely to be considerable measured against the manageable costs for the federal government – and assumes that a broader one-off payment to private households, comparable to direct aid in the US, could have a similar effect.