Die deutsche Konsumentenstimmung fällt im Mai unerwartet – GfK

    BERLIN, April 28 (Reuters) - German consumer morale
deteriorated unexpectedly heading into May as rising COVID-19
infections led to a re-tightening of restrictions on shopping,
travel and public life in many areas of Europe's largest
economy, a survey showed on Wednesday.
    The GfK research institute said its consumer sentiment
index, based on a survey of around 2,000 Germans, fell to -8.8
points from a revised -6.1 in April.
    Consumers' views on the economic outlook and personal income
expectations decreased significantly whereas their propensity to
buy increased moderately, the survey showed.
    "Hopes for further easing of restrictions and a revival of
consumption have been noticeably dampened," GfK consumer expert
Rolf Buerkl said, adding that the recovery of the economy would
continue to lag due to the third COVID-19 wave.
    Germany is struggling to contain an aggressive third wave of
coronavirus infections as efforts have been complicated by the
more contagious B117 variant, first discovered in Britain, and a
relatively slow introduction of vaccines against the pandemic.
    Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and Economy Minister Peter
Altmaier have both cautioned in the past days that they don't
expect any substantial easing of curbs before the end of May.
    If coronavirus cases fall and restrictions can be lifted in
the course of the summer, the government expects household
spending to fuel a consumer-led recovery and support its
upwardly revised growth forecast of 3.6% this year.

                                MAY 2021     APRIL    MAY 2020
 Consumer climate                 -8.8       -6.1       -23.1
 Consumer climate components      APRIL      MARCH      APRIL
                                  2021       2021       2020
 - willingness to buy             17.3       12.3       -4.6
 - income expectations             9.3       22.3       -19.3
 - business cycle expectations     7.3       17.7       -21.4
    NOTE - The survey period was from April 1 to 12, 2021.
    The consumer climate indicator forecasts the development of
real private consumption in the following month.
    An indicator reading above zero signals year-on-year growth
in private consumption. A value below zero indicates a drop 
compared with the same period a year ago.
    According to GfK, a one-point change in the indicator
corresponds to a year-on-year change of 0.1% in private
    The "willingness to buy" indicator represents the balance
between positive and negative responses to the question: "Do you
think now is a good time to buy major items?"
    The income expectations sub-index reflects expectations
about the development of household finances in the coming 12
    The additional business cycle expectations index reflects
the assessment of those questioned of the general economic
situation in the next 12 months.

 (Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by Kirsti Knolle)

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