Consumers in Germany are gradually regaining some hope after a long dry spell. The consumer climate brightened slightly in January, as the Nuremberg market research company GfK announced on Tuesday. For February, the experts expect the mood to improve further – this is the fourth slight improvement in a row.

    “Less rising prices for energy – also due to cost-cutting measures by the federal government – are primarily responsible for the good start,” the reasoning said is still very low, the pessimism has subsided recently,” said GfK expert Rolf Bürkl.

    Despite a less gloomy mood, this year will remain difficult for the domestic economy, predicted Bürkl. Private consumption will not be able to make any positive contribution to overall economic development.

    The insights into the consumer climate in the monthly GfK study are made up of three parts: Expectations about the economy and income as well as the propensity to buy. The willingness to make larger purchases remains low, partly because many people put money aside, for example for higher heating bills. The other two components of the consumer climate have recovered.

    There was a clear plus in income expectations in January. Consumers assumed that real income losses from inflation would not be as drastic as feared. The low from September 2022 has clearly been overcome. However, expectations are still well below the level of the previous year.

    According to GfK, economic expectations rose for the third time in a row and reached the pre-war level – just below the long-term average. “Consumers are apparently increasingly gaining the impression that the recession into which the German economy is expected to slide this year, according to many experts, will be less severe than feared a few weeks ago, and may even be avoided altogether.” (dpa)