Today, the German Society for Consumer Research (GfK) published the results of its GfK consumer climate study for April 2020. Due to current restrictive measures to contain the coronavirus, the consumer climate in Germany is falling to an unprecedented low.
The first two weeks of April 2020 mark the survey period for these findings, that are part of the 'GfK Consumer Climate MAXX' study, for which GfK conducts around 2,000 consumer interviews each month on behalf of the European Commission. 'Consumer climate' refers explicitly to the total private consumption expenditures of the consumers surveyed.
These are more details:
Overall consumer climate: For May 2020, GfK predicts a historic low in the German consumer climate of –23.4 points. Compared to 2.3 points in the same month of the previous year, this constitutes an unprecedented drop of 25.7 points.
Economic expectations indicator: German consumers expect a severe recession as a result of the Corona crisis. The economic expectation drops to –21.4 points in April 2020. A lower value of –26 points was last measured in May 2009 during the financial and economic crisis.
Income prospects indicator: Compared to the previous month, income expectation decreases to –19.3 points. This monthly drop of 47.1 points in income expectation is unique since the start of GfK's monthly consumer monitor in 1980.
Rolf Bürkl, GfK consumer expert, commented: "In view of a largely frozen economy, this unprecedented drop in the consumer climate is not entirely surprising. Retailers, manufacturers and service providers must prepare themselves for an imminent, very severe recession. Now that it is becoming apparent that the easing of the measures to contain Covid-19 will take place very slowly for precautionary reasons, the consumer climate is also likely to face difficult times in the upcoming months."