Consumer climate: a glimmer of hope on the horizon / Findings of the GfK consumer climate survey in June 2004

Nuremberg, Germany (ots) - The mood of German consumers lifted a little in the run-up to this summer's major sporting events, Euro 2004 in Portugal and the Olympics in Greece.

Following the setback in May this year, the ECONOMIC OUTLOOK INDICATOR has once again recovered slightly in June. The 6-point increase to minus 12 points only partially compensated for the significant loss in May.

The constant fluctuations of the INCOME EXPECTATIONS INDICATOR in Germany continued in June. Following the considerable decline in May, a slight increase of 3.5 points was recorded in June, although this only made up for part of the loss of more than ten points in the previous month. The indicator currently stands at minus 6.5 points.

Consumer optimism in June manifested itself most clearly in the PROPENSITY TO BUY INDICATOR, which climbed by 16.6 points to its current value of minus 24.5 points. This is the highest it has been since the end of 2001, before the indicator deteriorated significantly in the wake of the introduction of the Euro.

Given the recent changes in the consumer mood, it is likely that the consumer climate will improve somewhat. This is primarily attributable to the increased propensity to buy. The forecast consumer climate indicator for July 2004 is 5.0 points, following a revised 4.8 points in June.

It remains to be seen whether consumers' propensity to buy will improve further in the next few months and contribute to overall economic recovery. However, other than a spark of hope resulting from the June figures, there are no signs at the moment that private consumption will be a driving force alongside exports.