Economic Barometer – Consumer Climate Index (CCI) – October 2013


Consumer confidence shows little change relative to the preceding month. The relevant index in October confirms the conclusion drawn from previous ‘waves’, that the vigorous rebound of consumer confidence seen since the beginning of the year has indeed taken hold.

The Consumer Climate Index – CCI (58.5, +0.8 points relative to September) remains virtually unchanged. The marginal rise in the index is the resultant of opposing trends in two component indices. The Current Economic Conditions Index – CECI (41) showed a decrease (-3.6 points) relative to the previous month, whilst in contrast the Consumer Expectations Index – CEI (70.2) registered an increase of roughly equal magnitude (+3.7 points).

Propensity to buy (63.1) declined markedly, by 6.3 points, in just one month. Nearly 2 out of 3 consumers (64%) believe that the current period is not appropriate for major purchases of household equipment (furniture, electrical appliances, etc.). Assessments of personal financial situation (19) registered the third highest value of the past two years (10/2011-10/2013), falling slightly (-1 point) compared to September. Despite the relative improvement in the index, relative to the levels recorded in Autumn 2011, 84% of citizens believe that their financial situation is today worse than one year ago. Expectations for the economy (60.9) rose sharply (+7.4 points) relative to the previous month. Almost 1 in 5 (18%) expect the economy to improve during the next 12 months. Expectations for the economy over the next five years (103, +4.9 points relative to September) surpassed the 100-point mark for the first time since last June. The proportion of citizens foreseeing a recovery of the economy over the coming five years reached 40% (+3% relative to September).

Expectations of personal financial situation (45.9) remain at exceptionally low levels, registering a marginal decrease of 1.2 points relative to the previous month. The overwhelming majority of citizens are pessimistic about the future, with just 6% estimating that their personal financial situation will improve over the coming year.

Since January 2013, consumer confidence has recovered strongly. Currently standing at around 58 points, the relevant index has fluctuated sharply on account of the major political and economic developments that have taken place since the beginning of the year. Propensity to buy and assessments of personal financial situation have shown a slight improvement over the past 10 months. Propensity to buy increased by 3.1 points (63.1 in October, up from 60.6 in January), whilst the rise in assessments of personal financial situation reached 6 points (19 in October, against 13 in January). In contrast, short-term and long-term expectations for the economy declined markedly. Short-term expectations declined by 10.4 points (60.9 in October, down from 71.3 in January) whilst long-term expectations fell by 8.9 points (103.7 in October, against 112.6 in January). Lastly, expectations of personal financial situation showed a decrease of 3.3 points (45.9 in October, against 42.6 in January). In conclusion, citizens’ assessments of the current economic situation showed a slight improvement, whilst in contrast, their expectations for the future declined slightly (with the exception of expectations of personal financial situation).

Expectations for unemployment, inflation and saving changed little. Nearly 1 in 10 (9%, +1% relative to September) expect unemployment to fall in the next 12 months. Just 5% (-1% relative to September) consider it likely they will be able to save some amount of money in the year ahead, and lastly, the proportion of citizens expecting prices to decrease in the same period remains unchanged (9%).