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DES GB2015 Englisch

SHOPPING domestic product (GDP). The retail trade, too, will benefit from rising consumer spending. GfK fore- casts a 1.7% increase in spend- ing on items other than food, and of 1.5% in food retail, including drugstores. Spending on renova- tions, holidays, wellness products and kitchens currently also con- tributes to this trend. GfK is assuming – as it did last year – that private consump- tion will play a major part in prop- ping up the economy in 2016, and not only in Germany but also Europe-wide. It justifies this by citing the general rise in econom- ic strength, which can be expected to result in many businesses add- ing to their workforce, with un- employment therefore continuing to fall. Energy – in the shape of petrol and crude oil – will remain cheap, thus keeping inflation low and enabling consumers to have more money left in their wallets. Why the cautious forecast? This year's GfK forecast for Germany is cautious in tone. There are a number of reasons for this: 1. There is as yet no sign of the refugee crisis being resolved. If individual countries were to deny them entry, the Schengen agreement would collapse and borders would then again be closed, with very real consequences for Germany as an exporting nation. 2. The threat of terrorism in Europe as a whole and in Germany too: If more attacks are carried out, consumers might start to feel insecure and consume much less. 3. To date, falling energy prices have kept the economy going. If they continue to fall in the medium or longer term, though, the industries concerned might have to cut back on investments. If this were to result in layoffs, the labour market would be adversely affected and workers in other industries too would be more fearful of unemployment. In such a situation, more people will – despite extremely low interest rates – go back to saving up what money they can against potentially worse times rather than spending it on consumer goods. 4. The period of sustained slow growth in emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, and – especially – China. This can have a long-term detrimental effect on the German economy's export prospects. Retail trade benefits from favourable conditions The German retail trade is set to benefit from good consum- er sentiment in 2016. Food re- tail is expected to grow by 1.5% to €173.2 billion. As consumers continue to be more and more interested in quality, demand for higher-end products will be strengthened. In addition, the population growth resulting from immigration will be reflected in a quantitative rise in demand. Indeed, the situation looks a little brighter in the non-food segment, which is expected to grow by 1.7% to €170.5  billion. There is little doubt that peo- ple will spend a lot of money on high-cost goods such as furniture in 2016, too. Over the past year, consumers have been spending more on their long-term needs and on experiences as opposed to goods. For example, expenditure on renovation work went up by 9%. Germans spent 10% more on hol- idays and private travel than they had done in the previous year. Their spending on new cars went up by 6% overall. Private household spending is expected to increase by 2%. +2% 41

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