Press Release Consumer Goods Industries

Private consumption driving German growth

Ambiente trade show in Frankfurt

Berlin/Frankfurt (gtai) - In a climate of high employment, climbing wages and low interest rates, German consumers are spending more freely than for some time, helping push German economic growth.

The Trade Association of Germany (HDE) and the Federal Department of Statistics (Destatis) released figures at the end of January, which forecast a rise in domestic turnover of 1.5% for 2014 on the back of domestic consumers’ behavior.

The HDE reckons that only 10% of current disposable income is being saved at the moment, down a full 1.5% from the low point in the global economic crisis at the start of 2009, while the actual amount of that disposable income has increased in the same period and more people are now employed – 215,000 more in 2013 than 2012. Real  consumption – outside of cars, petrol, fuel and pharmaceuticals – has grown 2.6% since that low point as well.

Germany is the largest European market for consumer goods, with the highest population: 80.6 million souls. The total purchasing power is correspondingly the largest too. Consumer trust in Germany is, according to a Nielsen survey, at its highest level for nearly a decade and significantly above the EU average. It’s worth noting that such confidence was recorded during an election campaign – the actual level of confidence could now be even higher.

All these points will form not only a source of good feeling at the forthcoming Ambiente Trade Show in Frankfurt, from February 7-11 inclusive, but also the central points of a workshop on Germany’s consumer landscape to be hosted at Ambiente by Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI), the country’s foreign trade and inward investment promotion agency.

“We are noticing several interesting patterns in consumer behavior since the upswing from the economic downturn,” said Nadine Späth, Manager of Consumer Goods at GTAI.

“There has been similarly steep upward growth in online retail here as there has been in other countries, and is presenting similar challenges to high street retailers. But we are finding that in some market sectors retailers are coming up with innovative strategies to combine the two concepts as effectively as possible.”

The workshop, which takes place on Tuesday February 11 at 10.30 in Room Inspiration 2 in Hall 10.2, will talk about examples of that innovation, and will also provide insights into Germany as a business location and outline its defining consumer market characteristics. The German consumer and his behavior will be characterized and current market trends and developments highlighted.

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