Ger­man con­sumers view new year with op­ti­mism: Sur­vey

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Ger­man con­sumers are look­ing ahead to the new year with op­ti­mism, a lead­ing sur­vey said Fri­day, though it warned that the im­pact of this week’s deadly Ber­lin at­tack had yet to be taken into ac­count. The poll of around 2,000 peo­ple, car­ried out by mar­ket re­search firm GfK, found that con­sumer morale in Europe’s top economy rose for a third con­sec­u­tive month in De­cem­ber.

“Con­sumer ap­petite re­mains ro­bust,” it said in a state­ment. Look­ing ahead to 2017, GfK’s head­line con­sumer con­fi­dence in­di­ca­tor was fore­cast to rise to 9.9 points in Jan­uary, it said, up from 9.8 in De­cem­ber. Buoyed by a strong labour mar­ket and high wages, Ger­many’s bigspend­ing shop­pers ap­pear un­fazed by a string of po­lit­i­cal and fi­nan­cial risks on the hori­zon, the poll­ster said.

“Con­sumers are show­ing re­silience to­wards a se­ries of risk fac­tors, such as the out­come of the US elec­tions, the Brexit de­ci­sion, the flare-up of the Ital­ian bank­ing cri­sis... and the on­go­ing ter­ror threat,” it said.

In a note ac­com­pa­ny­ing the sur­vey how­ever, GfK said re­spon­dents were ques­tioned be­fore Mon­day’s truck as­sault on a Christ­mas mar­ket in Ber­lin. “Any pos­si­ble im­pli­ca­tions from that will be known in the next sur­vey at the ear­li­est,” it added.

Twelve peo­ple were killed in the at­tack, which was claimed by the Is­lamic State group. The lat­est snapshot of con­sumer morale echoed the up­beat find­ings of a closely-watched busi­ness con­fi­dence sur­vey re­leased by the Munich-based Ifo in­sti­tute ear­lier this week. That poll found that Ger­man busi­nesses also ex­pected to end the year on a high note, like­wise shrug­ging off con­cerns about Brexit or Don­ald Trump’s sur­prise elec­tion in the United States. The Ger­man govern­ment ex­pects the economy to grow by 1.8 per­cent this year and 1.4 per­cent in 2017. —AFP

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