Energy fears push German consumer confidence to record low




Power pylons are pictured at an industrial area in Herne, western Germany, on August 25, 2022. – German consumer confidence is at rock-bottom as Europe’s biggest economy faces the prospect of huge energy bills heading into the winter, a key survey showed on August 26, 2022. (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP)

 

BERLIN, Germany (AFP) — German consumer confidence is at rock-bottom as Europe’s biggest economy faces the prospect of huge energy bills heading into the winter, a key survey showed on Friday.

Pollster GfK’s forward-looking barometer fell to minus 36.5 points for September, the lowest level since its records began in 1991, following a revised August reading of minus 30.9 points.

“The sharp rise in the propensity to save this month is causing the consumer mood to continue its steep decline,” said GfK consumer expert Rolf Buerkl in a statement.

“The fear of significantly higher energy costs in the coming months is forcing many households to take precautions and put money aside for future energy bills,” he said.

Germans are feeling more frugal with their money than at any time since 2011, the survey of 2,000 people showed.

The pollster also found that Germans remained pessimistic about the prospects for the economy, after that sub-index last month hit a low not seen since the start of pandemic shutdowns in April 2020.

“The risk of recession remains high from the point of view of German consumers,” GfK said.

The German economy has been slowing as inflation soars, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sending energy and food prices through the roof.

Prices are expected to continue rising into the autumn with the end of temporary discounts on fuel and public transport, and the introduction of a natural gas surcharge to help energy importers.

 

© Agence France-Presse



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