Closed store in Frankfurt am Main: Hope to catch up
Photo: Blatterspiel / imago images / Jan Huebner
Shops and restaurants are closed and cozy clothes in the home office instead of chic in the office: The restrictions of the Corona year 2020 have left a clear mark on private consumption.
According to calculations by the Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft (IW), consumers in Germany spent an average of at least 1250 euros less than in the year before the crisis.
In total, this corresponds to a decrease in consumer spending by 116 billion euros, according to a study by the research institute.
Compared to 2019, consumption fell by 6.1 percent - more than it has been in 70 years.
For the first quarter of 2021, the researchers put the consumption shortfall at a further 40 to over 60 billion euros.
In 2020, German citizens would have bought very few short-lived consumer goods such as clothing or shoes, write the authors of the study, which was first reported by the "Rheinische Post". The purchase of durable consumer goods such as cars or furniture also declined in the course of the first lockdown, but demand in the second half of 2020 increased by five percent compared to the previous year. The IW experts also attribute this to the temporary VAT reduction.
There was therefore a particularly severe slump in services. In 2020 as a whole, the decrease totaled 78 billion euros. That is more than 2 percent of the German gross domestic product. "The state-decreed closure of body-related services, restaurants, hotels, leisure and event facilities have made many consumer wishes impossible," said IW scientist Hubertus Bardt.
Researchers expect private consumption to catch up with the pandemic as the pandemic subsides, but consumers have apparently not yet felt any buying mood.
According to a survey carried out by the IW together with other research groups, 43 percent want to save the part of their income that remains after basic expenses.
Usually it is less than 30 percent.
In addition, only a third of those surveyed stated that they currently plan to spend on vacation - usually 45 to 50 percent.
mmq / dpa