Consumer spending among private households in Germany declined by 5% in 2021, compared to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019, according to the latest data released by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).
The decline is attributed partly to the lockdown in the first quarter of the year, and additional restrictions due to another wave of infections at the end of the year.
During these phases, consumption patterns in private households were affected and consumer spending collapsed, Destatis noted. Expenditure on food remained high, while hospitality, leisure and culture witnessed declines.
German consumer sentiment dropped for the third month in a row in February, due to the current incidence of infection and ongoing COVID-19 measures, according to the latest data from the German Retail Federation (HDE).
Food And Beverage
During the year, price-adjusted consumer spending on food and non-alcoholic beverages was 3.4% above pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
However, consumer spending in these categories went down by 0.3%, compared to the 3.6% growth seen in 2020.
The hospitality industry saw a sharp decline of 34% in price-adjusted consumer spending for accommodation and catering services in 2020. It further declined by 1.7% in 2021.
As a result, consumer spending in the hospitality industry in the second year of the pandemic reached just under 65% of the pre-crisis level of 2019.
Elsewhere, price-adjusted spending on leisure and cultural services was also just under 86% in 2021, compared to 2019.
German exports to the UK declined by 2.5% last year, due to effects linked to the Brexit process, marking the second consecutive year of decline in trade.