The sharp rise in energy prices is already noticeably changing consumer behaviour. As a survey by the HDE trade association shows, eight out of ten consumers are affected, and a third are afraid of not making ends meet.
“The high-energy costs ensure that many consumers pay even closer attention to the price when shopping,” said HDE CEO Stefan Genth on Thursday afternoon.
Accordingly, one-third of those affected react by reducing their spending. According to a survey, savings are made above all on fashion and restaurant visits.
“However, austerity efforts are also increasing in spending on leisure and cultural events as well as holidays.”
On the product side, the focus is on leisure and hobbies as well as home and furnishings. “When shopping, four out of ten consumers are generally less likely to buy brand-name products.
In some product groups, this is up to 70 per cent, and almost half of the consumers reduce their spending on non-food products. Single parents, in particular, are very insecure. Here, 57 per cent feared that the money might not be enough.
“We are noticing in the retail trade that special offers, in particular, are even more in demand than usual,” said Genth. “People are making more considered purchases, spontaneous and impulse purchases are losing importance.” He said that the German government’s relief packages are all the more important overall. “The electricity and gas price brakes provide more reliability and are a good signal for consumer sentiment,” Genth emphasised.
Inflation is currently at ten per cent – apart from October at 10.4 per cent – the highest since 1951 and is eroding the purchasing power of consumers. The money is there, but consumers in this country are on a buying strike – the reason is uncertainty. Saving money also carries risks – and could make the crisis even worse.