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25.03.2021, 07:20

Germany's consumer confidence index improved sharply - GfK

According to the report from GfK, the easing of the hard lockdown, which began in early March, as well as falling infection rates at the time of the survey (March 4-15) boosted consumer confidence. Both economic and income expectations have increased, along with the propensity to buy, in some cases noticeably. As a result, GfK is forecasting a decrease of 6.2 points in consumer confidence for April 2021, up 6.5 points from March this year (revised from -12.7 points). 

This growing optimism may seem surprising at first glance. Since the survey took place during March 4 and March 15, the events surrounding the AstraZenica vaccine and the significant increase in the number of infections in the last few days have not been taken into account. Instead, the survey period was characterized by the initial easing of the hard lockdown and stable or even slightly declining infection figures. A very similar development was also observed in the spring of 2020, when the hard lockdown was also relaxed.

With infection rates rising again and the lockdown will be tightened again, it is questionable whether the improvement in consumer confidence will continue.

Rolf Bürkl, GfK consumer expert comments on the subject: “The hard lockdown will severely damage consumer confidence and the current improvement will remain a flash in the pan. A sustained recovery in consumer confidence will continue to be a long time coming — which means difficult times ahead for retailers and manufacturers.”

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