GfK: Consumer climate significantly improves across Europe

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According to the GfK Consumer Climate Europe study, the consumer mood in relation to economic development in individual European countries developed positively in the first quarter of 2015.

GfK_logo_RGB_sml imageConsumers in Western and Southern Europe were particularly optimistic, the study shows, expressing confidence that they will benefit from a general economic upswing.

It adds that Europe is steadily recovering from the financial and economic crisis, and the economy visibly grew during the fourth quarter of the last year in virtually every European country. Almost all countries recorded an increase in economic growth for 2014 as a whole. The projections are also good for this year, with economic experts revising their predictions upwards for 2015 in many countries.

The overall positive mood of European consumers is also reflected in the GfK Consumer Climate for the EU 28. In the first three months of 2015, the indicator increased by a notable 4.3 points to 9.8 points in March. This is the highest value since April 2008.

UK consumers ‘ready to spend again’

British consumers are expecting the domestic economy to grow significantly in the coming months, the GfK study says. Economic expectations stand at 27.9 points. That is 5.1 points higher than in December. However, when comparing with the situation in the previous year, British consumers are slightly less optimistic. The indicator stood at 31.4 points at that time.

Income expectations have also seen an upward trend in the first quarter. At 15.8 points in March, they were 10.7 points higher than in December. British consumers had been anticipating slightly lower income rises in March last year, when the indicator had been at 10.3 points.

For the first time in years, British consumers again have money left over at the end of the month. With this extra capacity, they are cautiously returning to making major purchases. Willingness to buy has risen by 11.5 points over the past three months to 8.8 points. That is the highest value since June 2006. The indicator was still well in the negative range just a year ago, at -10.9 points.

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