German consumer morale climbs on brighter outlook – Capital Business
FRANKFURT, Germany, Feb 24 – German consumers are feeling more optimistic heading into March, a key survey found Friday, as hopes grow that Europe’s biggest economy would skirt a recession.
Pollster GfK said its forward-looking survey of around 2,000 people climbed 3.3 points to reach minus 30.5 points for March, the fifth consecutive monthly increase.
“Lower prices for energy, but also reports that a recession in Germany can be avoided this year after all, are causing optimism to return very slowly,” said GfK consumer expert Rolf Buerkl.
The survey found that respondents were more optimistic about their income prospects as well as for the economy, and were also slightly more likely to splash out on big purchases than a month earlier.
Despite the recent rebound, GfK said the index remained at a low level overall, suggesting that consumer spending would not be a driver of economic growth this year.
The German government initially forecast that the economy would shrink in 2023, after Russia’s war in Ukraine sent energy costs surging and inflation reached new heights.
But Europe’s economic powerhouse has proved surprisingly resilient, in part thanks a massive government support package and mild winter weather that helped bring down energy prices.
The government said in January that it now expects economic growth of 0.2 percent this year.
The more upbeat mood in Germany was also reflected in two other surveys this week, which showed improved confidence among both business leaders and investors in February.