NEWS11 July 2014

Consumer confidence rises in EU

Europe News

EUROPE — The economy in the EU continues to recover according to GfK’s Consumer Climate study

GfK’s consumer climate index for the 28 EU countries was 9.1 points for the second quarter of 2014, a slight increase on the previous quarter and the highest it’s been since April 2008.

Across Europe, five indicators are monitored – economic expectations, price expectations, income expectations, willingness to buy and propensity to save. The various indicators are on an upward trend in most countries. Greeks, in particular, appear to think the worst is now behind them. Polish and Czech consumers are also taking a considerably more optimistic view of the future than they did at the start of the year.

In Germany, with its robust economy and low unemployment, consumer confidence is high with all three indicators at an extremely high level. Economic expectations increased, rising by 13 points in the second quarter. At 46.2 points, the indicator is the highest it has been since June 2011, when it was at 50.3 points. In comparison with June 2013, this equates to an increase of more than 44 points.

The mood in France is more uncertain and all three indicators were negative. In June, economic expectations reached -20.3 points, an improvement of 9.5 points on the end of the first quarter. However, taking into account the developments over the past year, this equates to a rise of 28.4 points. The indicator dropped to -48.7 points in June 2013, which is the lowest value since it fell to -57.1 points in March 2009.

In the UK the economy continues to improve. In June the economic expectations indicator was 37.9 points ( 6.4 more than in March) and income expectations at 8.0 points were above the long-term average of zero points.

Elsewhere, Italy and Spain showed signs of cautious optimism.

The GfK Consumer Climate Europe results are taken from a consumer survey in all 28 EU countries on behalf of the European Commission. Approximately 40,000 individuals are surveyed monthly.