German consumer sentiment index drops to historic low
A closely watched survey released on Wednesday showed German consumer confidence plunging amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict and rising inflation. According to market research group GfK, the forward-looking consumer sentiment index sees confidence falling to -26.5 in May from -15.7 in April, a drop of 10.8 points.
The decline in the confidence measure exceeded economists’ forecasts, which had forecast the index to fall to -16.3 and was well below a previous low seen in the spring of 2020 during government-mandated shutdowns in the region. first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Hopes for a recovery after the easing of pandemic restrictions have finally been dashed,” said GfK consumer expert Rolf Buerkl.
Meanwhile, British retailers had another poor month in April as the cost of living crisis intensified, according to a monthly survey released by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on Wednesday.
The retail trades survey showed that 35% of retailers said sales volumes had fallen in the year to April, compared with 9% reporting an increase in March and remaining below average long-term 18%. A total of 108 companies participated in the survey.
“Retail sales were below seasonal norms in April as consumer spending continued to shift towards services and rising prices impacted household purchasing power,” the senior economist said. of the CBI, Martin Sartorius.
Finally, in the United States, home prices rose 19.8% in February year-over-year, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index. That’s even higher than the 19.1% annual increase reported in January and the third highest value in the index’s 35-year history. All 20 cities tracked by the index reported price increases in the year ending February 2022.
In January, 16 cities saw year-over-year growth. Prices were highest in the South and Southeast, but each region continued to show strong gains. However, despite soaring house prices, there are growing concerns about the overall health of the U.S. housing market, as the pace of sales has slowed in recent months due to rising mortgage rates and continued tight supply.
This article has been prepared by Bank of Valletta plc for general information only.
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