The positive mood among European consumers has also continued into the second quarter of 2017. After the nine-year peak at the beginning of the year, the consumer climate has remained at a high level for the EU 28 and closed at 19.1 points at the end of June. Overall, the results of the GfK consumer climate study are again quite mixed for Europe in the second quarter of 2017.
There were again major differences in terms of the three indicators, economic and income expectation, as well as propensity to buy. While Germany and France recorded highs here, the consumer mood cooled down a bit in some Eastern European countries like Poland and the Czech Republic. GfK consumer expert Rolf Bürkl: "One of the striking results in the second quarter was the ‘Macron Effect’ in France, which had a noticeably positive effect on the mood of the French. The British consumers were evidently watching the Brexit talks with skepticism, which was reflected in weakness of the indicators. This quarter’s winners included Spain and Portugal, where consumers were again in a more confident mood owing to the recovering economy."
Belgium: Continuous positive trend in economic expectation
Belgian consumers were much more optimistic at the end of the second quarter of 2017 in terms of economic expectation than one year earlier. The corresponding indicator increased by 20.9 points to 14.2 points. This continues the positive trend from the first quarter, when 13.8 points were already recorded in late March.
Income expectation among Belgian consumers took a hit of about eleven points compared with the end of the first quarter, and slid to -8.1 points. At that level, the value is still better than it was one year before. It was still at -17.6 points by mid of 2016.
More caution has also returned in terms of larger purchases: at 13.5 points, the indicator is stuck at about the same level as the previous year, but still suffered a setback of 3.1 points from the more friendly first quarter of this year.
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