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24 Dec, 2023 05:22

Germans spending less this Christmas – retail association

Falling consumer sentiment has been attributed to fear of economic shocks
Germans spending less this Christmas – retail association

Online and offline Christmas sales in Germany have slowed amid rising economic uncertainty, the managing director of the German Retail Association (HDE), Stefan Genth, told Frankfurter Allgemeine this week. 

Soaring inflation and geopolitical conflicts, including tensions in Ukraine and the Middle East, have caused consumer sentiment in Germany to dip, Genth said.

The HDE’s calculations showed that spending could be described as “limited,” he added, although the figures had turned out to be much lower than expected. 

Pre-holiday sales also made a “very poor start,” according to Genth, who noted that the numbers cover online commerce as well. 

“To summarize, it should be said that our expectations, unfortunately, were not met,” he stated.

The association had previously projected a decline in sales in price-adjusted terms, citing double-digit inflation and high energy prices that forced Germans to shop less in the third quarter.

Earlier this month, the HDE revealed the results of a survey which showed that almost 60% of the 350 retail companies polled were dissatisfied with sales trends.

“There is a great deal of uncertainty among both companies and customers in view of the difficult situation with enormous energy price increases,” Genth said. “High inflation and poor consumer sentiment do not really bode well for the Christmas season.”

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