The consumer climate in Germany brightened slightly in March. The market research institutes GfK and NIM in Nuremberg announced that economic and income expectations have increased slightly, and the propensity to buy has fallen slightly. The GfK consumer climate index rose from minus 28.8 points to minus 27.4 points compared to the previous month.

“The recovery of the consumer climate is progressing slowly and very sluggishly,” said consumer researcher Rolf Bürkl. Real income growth and a stable labor market are in themselves very good conditions. But consumers are very uncertain and have little confidence in Germany’s economic development. This means that an important prerequisite for larger purchases is missing. The consumer researchers surveyed around 2,000 consumers from February 29th to March 11th.

Income expectations rose slightly

With an inflation rate of currently 2.5 percent, the collective wage and salary increases as well as the announced pension increases of 4.6 percent are actually likely to significantly increase real incomes, said GfK. Economic expectations also brightened somewhat at -3.1 points. After a weaker first half of the year, a slight recovery is expected in the second half of the year.

Nevertheless, the propensity to buy fell slightly compared to the previous month. “The propensity to buy, which has been stagnating at a very low level for almost two years, is an indication that the uncertainty among consumers is extremely high,” explained the consumer researchers. Therefore, consumers continued to put their money aside. The propensity to save fell somewhat in March, but was still at a very high level.