Germany records strong consumption growth in 2015

Berlin, March 15 (IANS) Fuelled by a favourable shopping environment, German consumers’ spending in 2015 grew faster than any year else in the past 15 years.

It compensated Germany’s losses in exports declines due to weak global recovery, Xinhua cited official data as showing on Tuesday.

In 2015, German households spent 1.63 trillion euros ($1.8 trillion) on private consumption, said German federal statistics office Destatis.

Excluding effects of price increases, private consumption in Germany rose by 1.9 percent year on year.

This was the strongest growth since 2000, Destatis said, attributing the significant rise to “households’ positive tendency to consume”.

In 2015, increasing prices eroded only 0.3 percentage points off the Germans’ income. In real terms, Germans earned 2.5 percent more than in the previous year, recording the strongest growth since 2008.

With a record low unemployment rate, Germany’s stable labour market dispelled people’s concern about losing their jobs.

Low interest rates also spurred consumers to loosen their purse strings instead of storing their money in banks.

Last year, German retailers logged the strongest sales growth over 21 years.

Against a backdrop of lagged global recovery and sluggish domestic investment, economists expected private consumption to continue drive Europe’s biggest economy in 2016 as it did in the past two years.

The German government forecast that the consumption would increase by 1.9 percent in 2016, driving an economic growth of 1.7 percent, the same as last year.

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