Coronavirus gloom weighs on German shoppers
German shoppers are feeling downbeat as the December Christmas period beckons, a key survey said Thursday, with concerns about soaring coronavirus infections and higher prices gnawing away at festive cheer.
Pollster GfK's forward-looking barometer fell to minus 1.6 points for December, down 2.6 points on the previous month.
"On the one hand, there is the fourth wave of the pandemic with exploding incidence rates, the risk of an overburdened healthcare system and the fear of further restrictions," said GfK consumer expert Rolf Buerkl.
"On the other hand, a high inflation rate of around four percent right now is causing consumers' purchasing power to melt away," he said.
"This dampens the prospects for the upcoming Christmas business.
"Germany has tightened coronavirus curbs to combat the worsening pandemic, including cancelling Christmas markets and barring the unvaccinated from bars, gyms and leisure centres in the hardest-hit regions.
The GfK survey of some 2,000 people found that Germans were significantly more pessimistic about the state of the European Union's largest economy than last month.
Income expectations also dropped, while the willingness to splash out on big purchases hit a nine-month low, the pollsters said.