Confidence among German consumers has reached levels not seen since the early 2000s. The latest monthly barometer by the GfK market research group indicated that rising wages were the main driver behind spending.
Rising wages - or the prospect of further wage hikes - has fueled consumer confidence in Germany, GfK marker researchers said Thursday while presenting the findings in their forward-looking May index.
The monthly barometer climbed by 0.1 points to 10.1 points, hitting the highest level since October 2001.
GfK expert Rolf Bürkl noted that continuously low inflation rates had been playing a major role in people's perception of their purchasing power. "At the end of the day, there's more money left to spend in people's pockets," he said in a statement.
Greek knock-on effect?
Economists also pointed to the positive impact of low oil prices on global markets, saying that just because filling up your car and keeping your apartments warm had been so much less expensive, Germans would have a total of 8 billion euros ($8.56 billion) more in their pockets.
GfK experts said no significant change in Germans' consumer confidence was expected in the months ahead, with consumer prices stable and the labor market in good shape.
Respondents to the GfK poll made it clear, though, that they had their misgivings about the economic situation in Germany remaining so robust long-term. Although no specific reasons were given for that assessment, the Nuremberg-based market research group suggested fears were based on the potential impact of Greece's financial instability on fellow eurozone nations, including Germany.
hg/ng (dpa, Reuters)