The FINANCIAL — Media discussions were dominated above all by country-specific topics in the second quarter. As a result, the economic and income expectations and propensity to buy indicators in the different European countries show varying pictures. All in all, however, the consumer climate for the EU28 underwent a considerable increase from March to June 2016, rising by 4.1 points to 13.1 points.
In the second quarter, it were predominantly country-specific – and therefore very diverse – topics that dominated the headlines in the EU states. The fight against the so-called Islamic State and the resulting terrorist attacks in Europe, especially in Turkey, were also in the spotlight across Europe. Particularly in the run up to the European football championship in France, discussions held by the media, security experts and governments in Europe centered on how to put an end to terrorism, according to GfK.
The refugee agreement between the EU and Turkey also shaped discussions. While it is thanks to Turkey that considerably fewer refugees are now arriving in Europe, Europe is still in discussions about its dealings with Turkey and the country’s compliance with fundamental democratic principles.
In June, it was the British referendum on whether to leave or stay in the EU in particular that stood at the top of the agenda. The fact that the Brits voted to leave has not yet influenced this survey, as it had already been completed by June 23, the date of the referendum. However, the current uncertainty in the financial markets is also expected to affect European consumers. The extent to which this decision will affect the consumer climate in the individual countries over the coming months also depends on how strong the financial impact is, how discussions within the European Union develop and how Brexit affects each individual country financially.
As the different European states have been mostly dominated by country-specific topics (elections in Austria and Spain, sanctions against Russia, negotiations over new EU payments to Greece, refugee crises in Italy etc.) over the last three months, the consumer climate indicators are showing very different pictures. Overall, however, the consumer climate for the EU28 underwent a considerable increase from March to June 2016, rising by 4.1 points to 13.1 points. This is the highest value since March 2008 (16.8 points).