German consumer morale declined less than forecasted into December, and customer willingness to buy improved. The news is a sign that Christmas shoppers are ready and willing to spend this season.
The GfK consumer sentiment index declined just 9.3 points after dropping 9.4 points the previous month.
Although the reading was the lowest since February 2015, it was still slightly higher than the 9.2 point projection by economists.
Although consumer confidence in the German economy decreased over the last six months, it’s declined at a significantly slower pace than expected.
The dip in consumer confidence is primarily linked to labor market concerns as 69% of all survey responders were expecting an increased unemployment rate because of the major influx in refugees.
Despite this, consumer enthusiasm was positive, with the willingness to buy sub-index climbing 3 points to reach 48.9.
The data supports positive retail figures that were reported during the first nine months of the year, and indicates that private consumption is the key pillar of support in the German economy.
The GfK for this month concluded before the Paris attacks took place. It’s still uncertain whether fears of similar attacks will affect the shopping plans of German consumers. It is possible that some consumers will avoid shopping and attending Christmas markets this year as a result of the attacks.