German Consumer Sentiment Rises Unexpectedly Heading Into January: GfK
German consumer morale unexpectedly rose heading into February, the GfK market research group said on Wednesday, suggesting that a partial agreement reached in the U.S.-Sino trade conflict is putting German buyers at ease.
The GfK consumer sentiment indicator, based on a survey of some 2,000 Germans, rose to 9.9 points in January, from a
revised 9.7 a month earlier. This confounded a Reuters Poll of analysts of 9.6.
GfK researcher Rolf Buerkl said a first deal in the trade dispute between the United States and China provided relief in Germany as an export nation dependent on a free exchange of goods.
Washington and Beijing earlier this month reached a truce in their 18-month trade war, which had slowed global economic
growth and increased business uncertainty.
GfK's sub-indicator for business expectations rose slightly but remained negative at -3.7 points.
Propensity To Buy
A stronger propensity to buy, stable employment and bright income expectations helped for the more cheerful mood among
German consumers, GfK said.
Saving instead of consumption remains unattractive among Germans with the European Central Bank's low interest rate policy which has been pushing some banks to impose punitive interest rates on private investors, GfK added.
For 2020 as a whole, GfK forecast a 1% real growth in private consumer spending in Germany.
"The positive start of the consumer climate in 2020 confirms our assessment that private consumption will continue to be an important pillar of the German economy this year," Buerkl said.
The GfK survey was conducted from January 8 to January 20, 2020.