GfK: EU consumer climate remains positive, but UK continues decline

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The positive mood among European consumers has also continued into the second quarter of 2017 according to the latest figures from GfK. After the nine-year peak at the beginning of the year, the consumer climate has remained at a high level for the EU 28 and closed at 19.1 points at the end of June. Overall, the results of the GfK consumer climate study are again quite mixed for Europe in the second quarter of 2017.

There were again major differences in terms of the three indicators – economic and income expectation, as well as propensity to buy. While Germany and France recorded highs here, the consumer mood cooled down a bit in some Eastern European countries like Poland and the Czech Republic.

GfK consumer expert Rolf Bürkl commented: “One of the striking results in the second quarter was the ‘Macron Effect’ in France, which had a noticeably positive effect on the mood of the French. The British consumers were evidently watching the Brexit talks with scepticism, which was reflected in weakness of the indicators. This quarter’s winners included Spain and Portugal, where consumers were again in a more confident mood owing to the recovering economy.”

Great Britain: Brexit continues to weigh down the mood

Economic expectation of British consumers has continued its descent. Compared to levels one year ago, the indicator has fallen by 14.8 points to reach -20.7 points – a clear evidence of insecurity among British consumers in regards to the upcoming Brexit, GfK says.

Income expectation recorded an even greater loss in Britain. It fell by 21.2 points compared with late June of 2016 to settle at -2 points. That means a loss of 3.2 points from the first quarter of this year.

A similar picture emerges with view to propensity to buy in Great Britain, which had dropped to 3.5 points by the end of the second quarter. That represents the lowest level since October 2014, when this indicator was at -5.7 points.

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