GfK: unsettled Europe affects UK confidence

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The lengthy negotiations between Greece and its creditors clearly influenced the mood of consumers in most European countries in the second quarter of this year, according to the findings of research analysts GfK.

Nevertheless, the GfK Consumer Climate EU28 has increased by 1 point overall since March to 10.8 points.

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The Greek crisis largely set the mood for European consumers in the second quarter of this year, and the economic expectations in many countries has stagnated or decreased as a result, GfK notes. At the time of the poll, which was carried out in the first two weeks of June, the negotiations between Greece and its creditors had increasingly come to a head. The provisional climax – the tentative failure of the negotiations, the closure of Greek banks, the referendum and the new, seemingly successful negotiations – is therefore not reflected in this survey. It is assumed that the mood of the people in Europe, primarily within the Monetary Union, may deteriorate even more significantly over the summer, GfK surmises. This applies, in particular, to countries like Germany, Italy, France, and Spain, which either bear a high share of Greece’s debts or are also struggling with a difficult economic situation.

The development of the income expectations as well as the propensity to buy vary among the different countries. Country-specific influences in the second quarter were stronger here than the possible effects of Greece’s exit from the European Monetary Union.

United Kingdom: consumers unsettled despite a growing economy

In the United Kingdom, the mood among consumers has worsened over the past three months. The economic outlook has fallen from 27.9 points in March to 19.7 points in June. The risks of a possible Greek exit from the European Monetary Union appeared to overshadow the very favorable economic data for the United Kingdom, GfK suggests.

The picture was somewhat different for the income expectations. Although the indicator also fell to 11.9 points, just under 4 points lower compared to March, it remained at the same level over the course of the past year aside from a few fluctuations. In April, it posted its highest level since December 2007, at 16.6 points.

The propensity to buy in the United Kingdom increased in the second quarter by just under 6 points. In June it reached 14.6 points, which was its best level since October 2003. Although this level is still low, the indicator is nevertheless showing a clear upward trend.

 

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