In view of high inflation, German consumers drew on their savings last year. The savings rate of private households fell by almost four points to 11.4 percent. This was announced by the Federal Statistical Office on Wednesday. After the lifting of the corona restrictions, it approached the pre-crisis level again. On average from 2017 to 2019, it was 10.9 percent. During the pandemic, for example, travel, concert and restaurant visits were limited, so a lot of money landed on the high edge. But the generally increased uncertainty is also likely to have motivated some savers.
Many consumers can fall back on this in times of high inflation. In February of this year, the inflation rate in Germany was 8.7 percent, according to the Federal Statistical Office. Although the disposable income of private households increased by 7 percent last year, their consumer spending rose even more sharply to 10.7 percent due to strong inflation. The inflation rate had risen to 2022.6 percent in 9. "The high annual inflation rate was mainly driven by the price increases for energy products and food since the beginning of the war in Ukraine," the statisticians emphasized.
In addition to price increases, the elimination of almost all corona restrictions also influenced consumer behavior. For example, spending on services, which include, for example, gastronomy and travel, rose by 8.3 percent in price-adjusted terms compared to 2021, when many restrictions were still in place. Compared to the pre-crisis year 2019, total consumer spending was 9.5 percent higher, but remained slightly below the pre-crisis level in price-adjusted terms.
Private households consumed 4.4 percent less food and non-alcoholic beverages in the previous year. However, they spent 7.8 percent more money on this. Food and non-alcoholic beverages accounted for 11.5 percent of total consumer spending. "In the previous two years, this proportion had risen to almost twelve percent, among other things due to home office and the corona restrictions in the catering industry," it said. In 2019, the share was 10.8 percent.