German consumer confidence slips
28 April 2004 , NUREMBERG - Consumer confidence in Germany slipped in April, according to market-research company GfK on Wednesday, adding to concerns about the outlook for private household spending in Europe's biggest economy.
28 April 2004
NUREMBERG - Consumer confidence in Germany slipped in April, according to market-research company GfK on Wednesday, adding to concerns about the outlook for private household spending in Europe's biggest economy.
The German consumer climate index was at 5.0 points in April, down from 5.1 points in March, GfK said in its monthly survey.
Private consumption remains the weak link in Germany's recovery from three years of economic stagnation as consumers hold back from opening up their wallets as a result of concerns about high unemployment and the ongoing debate about economic and welfare reforms.
"Most indications are that domestic demand will hardly contribute to the economic recovery in Germany in 2004," it said
"As long as there are no positive signals coming from the labour or any other clear signals that the recovery will be supported, consumer sentiment will remain restrained," it said.
Consumers said they were more hopeful that recovery was on the way, but large numbers were reluctant to buy big-ticket items.
The Gfk's economic expectations index, which measures consumers' optimism about the economic outlook, rose 10.5 points to minus 1.5
But while expectations about future income rose, the index measuring consumers' willingness to spend fell 1.9 points in April to minus 26.9. According to Gfk this was a "very low level"
The April reading was lower than GfK's forecast of 5.1 points
GfK said it expects the climate index to improve only slightly to 5.2 points in May
The GfK consumer climate survey polls 2,000 people and is carried out on behalf of the European Commission
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: German news