A RECENT report from the GfK research institute finds that after several months of buoyant optimism, German consumers are now beginning to plan their spending more carefully. Worries that the strong influx of asylum seekers from the troubled Middle East would cause unemployment to rise sent the economic index down to -2.9 points in October from 6.4 points in September. Although German’s income expectations remained unchanged in October at 47.7 points, their “willingness to buy” dipped to 45.9 points from 50.4 points in September.
As yet, the lower propensity to spend has not reached a level that threatens the economy. If the colder weather puts a brake on immigration and employment remains stable, confidence could well rise again soon.