Customers in a shopping street

Survey on Consumer Expectations

What are households’ expectations? Since 2019, the Deutsche Bundesbank has been investigating this question by surveying households in Germany on a regular basis (Bundesbank Online Panel Households).

Introduction to the study

What is the outlook for the economy over the next few years? This is a question that households regularly ask themselves when facing important decisions. Positive (negative) expectations can encourage (discourage) investment and consumption. Likewise, a change in expectations within society regarding economic data potentially affects a country’s economic growth. For the Deutsche Bundesbank, it is extremely important to identify changes in expectations on the societal level at an early stage and to consider these as soon as possible when making monetary policy decisions.

Thus, the Deutsche Bundesbank is analysing households’ expectations about future economic developments in Germany in a multi-year study, measured, amongst other things, in terms of the expected development of the inflation rate and property prices. Given the dynamic situation, the surveys are currently being conducted at relatively short intervals.

Methodology of the study

The survey and questionnaire were designed and developed by Deutsche Bundesbank’s Research Centre in cooperation with the survey institute forsa, which is currently conducting the survey. The study is initially set to run for a period of four years, covering both recurring and wave-specific questions. For each survey, around 2,000 representative members of the general public will be asked to respond. Some of the survey participants are asked multiple times at varying intervals. Participation in the study is voluntary and takes about 20 minutes.

Data protection

The collected data is used exclusively to produce statistics, for monetary and financial stability purposes, and for scientific research. There will be no commercial use. The collected data will always be stored separately from personal data and identifying individual persons is impossible, even for researchers of Deutsche Bundesbank.