Economic Barometer – Consumer Climate Index (CCI) – December 2014


Consumer sentiment showed a marginal improvement relative to October. Looking at the movement of the relevant index since European elections, consumer confidence appears to be stabilizing at just below 70 points during the last half of 2014. Citizens’ assessments of the state of the economy, as recorded in the survey for the current month, are contradictory. On the one hand they estimate that their personal situation is not deteriorating further and express guarded optimism about the future of the economy over the long term. They also expect prices to fall during the coming year. At the same time, however, their optimism about the economy’s short-term prospects is falling. Moreover, they appear unwilling to make major purchases of consumer goods, while their expectations of a further drop in unemployment declined markedly.
The Consumer Climate Index – CCI (68.2) rose slightly (+2 points) relative to November. The two component sub-indices improved by roughly the same margin. The Current Economic Conditions Index – CECI (49.8) rose by 1.5 points, in one month, while the Consumer Expectations Index – CEI (80.5) again surpassed the 80-point mark, increasing by 2.3 points in the same period. Generally speaking, the Consumer Climate Index appears to be stabilizing at just below 70 points in the period since European elections.
Propensity to buy (64.2) declined significantly (-6.7 points) compared to the previous month, despite the fact that the period in which the survey was conducted (10-17/12/2014) is very close to the holiday season. Assessments of personal financial situation (35.4) reached the highest level of the “Memorandum period”, registering an impressive increase (+9.6 points) relative to November. Expectations for the economy showed opposing trends. Short-term expectations (65.8) declined slightly (-1.4 points) compared to the previous month, while long-term expectations (113.1) rebounded strongly (+7.1 points) relative to November. Expectations of personal financial situation showed little change (62.6, +1.2 points compared to November).
Citizens’ expectations for unemployment (72) declined (-2.5 points) for the second straight month. However, the index has remained steadily above 70 points during the past three months. Expectations for inflation improved significantly. The percentage of respondents anticipating price increases during the coming 12 months (44%) fell by 6% relative to the previous month. Lastly, expectations for saving remained at more or less the same level.