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Financial News: German Consumer Confidence Set To Remain Stable In

German Consumer Confidence Set To Remain Stable In January

12/21/2018 - 03:32:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Germany's consumer confidence is set to remain steady at the start of next year as households as the divide between expectations on overall economic situation and personal finances widened further.

The forward-looking consumer confidence indicator is set to show a reading of 10.4 in January, unchanged from December, the market research group GfK said Friday. Economists had forecast a score of 10.3 for January. "On the one hand, the downward trend in economic prospects is continuing, but on the other, the income expectations of households is still able to improve its nevertheless high level," the Nuremberg-based GfK said.

"Since propensity to buy is also suffering losses, the consumer climate looks unchanged."

The economic expectations index of the survey shed 3.3 points to reach 14.1. The reading was the lowest since February 2017, when the score was 9.7, the GfK said. Economic optimism continued to be dampened by the persistent trade conflict between the USA, China, and the EU, as well as uncertainty caused by Brexit. German citizens see risks for their nation of exports predominantly in impending trade restrictions, such as higher customs duties and dwindling exports are curbing growth, the GfK said. Recent business surveys suggested that the biggest euro area economy may slip into a technical recession, which is two consecutive quarters of negative growth, in the final three months of the year. The income expectations indicator climbed 3.6 points to 53.8, equaling its level from a year ago. The consistently excellent health of the job market is the main reason behind the increase in income optimism, the GfK said. The high level of employment allows growth in earnings, leading to real income growth despite higher inflation. High expectations for financial development are thoroughly well-grounded as the prospects for the job market in next year remain favorable, the GfK said. Meanwhile, the propensity to buy indicator dropped in December, by 4.4 points to 53.1, after rising in the previous two months. Favorable domestic conditions such as a strong labor market and savings remaining less attractive due to low interest rates are the main factors boosting the propensity to consume. The GfK confirmed its private consumption growth forecast of around 1.5 percent this year and added that the prospects for 2019 remain favorable. That said, a further escalation in the trade conflict with the USA, or a no-deal exit of Britain from the EU would certainly also put a strain on the consumer climate, the firm said.

Moreover, the domestic policies of Italy and France are currently creating further potential areas of conflict, the GfK added.

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