Private consumption showing restraint in the second half of the
Although employment picked up sharply in the fourth quarter, private
consumption was flat on the previous quarter. The number of persons in
employment rose to a record of 44.7 million in the final quarter of 2017, up by
642,000 compared with the previous year.
For the full year, there was a year-
over-year increase of 1.5%. Additionally, wages continued their uptrend. On an
hourly basis (excl. One-off payments), collective wages advanced by 1.9%
(Bundesbank) compared with the same quarter a year earlier, resulting in a
wage drift of 1% relative to effective wages, which edged up by 2.9%. Despite
the positive employment trend, private consumption expenditure was nearly
unchanged and hence fell behind expectations in the second half of the year.