Germans spend most of their money on food and semi-luxury articles – on average 2025 Euros each year on a per capital basis which is about one third of the total amount of money available for private consumption. Other important items of private consumption for Germans are body and health care products (14% of total consumer spending) followed by spending on building centre products (10.4%) and clothing (8.4%). The smallest amount is spent on products for babies. For many product groups the propensity to buy differs according to region. These are the findings of the “GfK purchasing power 2008” study by GfK GeoMarketing which analysed 64 product groups in the German retail trade.
On luxury products such as watches and jewellery Germans spend just 1% which corresponds to an amount of 56 Euros per year. For products of telecommunication Germans pay about 32 Euros each on a per capita basis (0.6%). On baby and children products German consumers spend just 12 Euros (0.2% of their purchasing power) each year.
The amounts spent by Germans on different product groups differ according to region. With regard to information technology (computers, PDAs and accessories) the majority of consumers is to be found in cities: the biggest purchasing power in this respect can be found in Munich, followed by Erlangen, Wiesbaden/Frankfurt and the surrounding region as well as Wolfsburg, Regensburg and Mainz.
As far as clothes are concerned, more money is spent on lady’s wear (236 Euros each year) than on clothes for men (109 Euros). Once more it is the inhabitants of cities who spend more money than people in rural regions. Most money is spent by people from Munich, Erlangen, the Hochtaunus region as well as Landshut and the Main-Taunus-region and the cities of Regensburg, Starnberg, Düsseldorf, Mühlheim and Kempten. The average amount of money spent on lady´s wear in these regions is 280 Euros per year which is about 20% above the German average. Those five regions in which Germans spend the smallest amount on lady’s wear are all located in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania where people spend less than 170 Euros per year and capita on lady’s wear.
Regional differences were also registered with regard to products of daily necessity. Thus, German spend on average 175 Euros on fruit and vegetables in 2008. Consumers in Munich, by contrast, pay about 224 Euros for fruit and vegetables and those in the Eifelkreis Bitburg-Prüm region, which is a rural area, just 142 Euros.
For the first time data on spending on baby and children products were collected this year. It turned out that in general families with children are rather living in rural areas than in cities. Thus, purchasing power with regard to products for babies and children is particularly small in cities states such as Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen. However, spending on this product group also depends on the general purchasing power. Even though in Brandenburg and Thuringia there are relatively many families with children, these on average spend less money on baby and children products than high-income families from regions around Hamburg or Munich.