German consumer confidence is expected to recover ahead of the new year as government relief measures to ease rising energy prices appear to be having an effect, a survey by GfK showed on Wednesday.
The institute said its consumer confidence index rose to -37.8 in January from a slightly revised reading of -40.1 in December, and above analysts’ forecasts polled by Reuters of -38.0.
“With the third consecutive rise, the consumer climate is gradually emerging from the slump. The light at the end of the tunnel becomes a little clearer,” said Rolf Buerkl, consumer expert at GfK.
However, despite the slight improvement, consumer confidence remains at a low point. October recorded the lowest reading in more than a decade, with -42.8 points.
A negative reading suggests a year-on-year fall in private consumption.
According to Buerkl, the recovery remains in unstable territory and could be derailed, for example, by a significant increase in energy prices in the event of a deterioration in the geopolitical situation.
All three sub-indices saw an increase in December, the largest being income expectations, which rose to -43.4 from -54.3 the previous month, as energy prices have evolved more moderately in recent weeks and a one-time gas relief payment for households comes into effect in December.