Edition:
United Kingdom

Riham Alkousaa

Kremlin critic Navalny appears in public after leaving Berlin hospital

23 Sep 2020

BERLIN/MOSCOW Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny made his first public appearance on Wednesday after being discharged from a Berlin hospital where Germany said he was being treated for poisoning by a potentially deadly nerve agent. | Video

From Damascus to Berlin: A Reuters journalist's quest for family reunion

18 Jun 2020

BERLIN It was still dark in Damascus as I walked down the stairs, my new life contained in a red suitcase. My mother stood next to the taxi door praying for my safety. My father was silent, certain that he would never see me again.

Polish court head lays into German judge's 'scandalous' criticism

13 May 2020

BERLIN Poland's Constitutional Court president rejected remarks by her German counterpart as "scandalous" after he was quoted in a newspaper questioning whether the court was truly independent of the Polish government.

Germans told not to lower guard as lockdown is eased

24 Apr 2020

BERLIN, Germany Germany's coronavirus infection rate needs to fall further - to a few hundred cases a day - before lockdown measures can be eased further, its main public health institution said on Friday. | Video

UPDATE 1-Coronavirus pushes down German consumer morale to record low

23 Apr 2020

(Adds IfW) By Riham Alkousaa BERLIN, April 23 German consumer morale was driven to a record low heading into May, a survey showed on Thursday, with the coronavirus pandemic having a far more severe impact on household spending intentions than forecasters had estimated. The GfK consumer sentiment indicator, based on a survey of 2,000 Germans, entered negative territory, dropping to -23.4 points from a revised 2.3 in the previous month. A level below zero indicates an expectation that consumption will fall from last year. A Reuters poll of analysts had forecast a smaller drop to -1.8. "The consumer climate is currently in free fall," Rolf Buerkl, a researcher for Nuremberg-based GfK, said in a statement, adding that a value of -23.4 was unprecedented in the history of the consumer climate survey. "Retailers, manufacturers and service providers must prepare for an imminent, very severe recession," Buerkl said. Consumer sentiment would remain subdued in the coming months as measures to curb the outbreak would be eased only slowly. The drop was exacerbated by a spike in consumers' propensity to save in the crisis, GfK said. Production shutdowns, shops' closures and supply chain disruptions forced many companies to put employees on short-time work schemes, hitting consumers' income and economic expectations, the survey showed. However, this week stores of up to 800 square metres (8,600 square feet), were allowed to open provided they stick to strict social distancing rules, a measure the IfW economic institute in Kiel said was leading to something of a high street revival. "Retail can breathe again, this week's easing is bringing a noticeable alleviation in some areas which you can see from the number of people in town centres," said IfW President Gabriel Felbermayr. The number of people in Dortmund city centre, in western Germany, was about 51% of what it would usually be during a normal working day and other cities were seeing similar numbers, said the IfW. The situation looked different, though, in other areas such as the southern state of Bavaria which has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths. The number of people in Munich city centre amounted to only about 13% of the normal. A figure for consumers' income expectations in April recorded the biggest drop since the survey started in 1980. "The fear of job loss has risen sharply among many employees," Buerkl said. "This is a significant barrier to consumption, which is intensified by the fact that closed shops often make it impossible to buy stuff." May 20 April 20 May 19 Consumer climate -23.4 2.3 10.2 Consumer climate components April 20 March 20 April 19 - willingness to buy -4.6 31.4 53.1 - income expectations -19.3 27.8 56.8 - business cycle expectations -21.4 -19.2 3.0 NOTE - The consumer climate indicator forecasts the development of real private consumption in the following month. An indicator reading above zero signals year-on-year growth in private consumption. A value below zero indicates a drop in comparison with the same period a year ago. According to GfK, a one-point change in the indicator corresponds to a year-on-year change of 0.1 percent in private consumption. The "willingness to buy" indicator represents the balance between positive and negative responses to the question: "Do you think now is a good time to buy major items?" The income expectations sub-index reflects expectations about the development of household finances in the coming 12 months. The additional business cycle expectations index reflects the assessment of those questioned of the general economic situation in the next 12 months. (Reporting by Riham Alkousaa and Reinhard Becker Editing by Peter Graff)

REFILE-Coronavirus pushes down German consumer morale to record low

23 Apr 2020

(Refiles to fix typo in headline and first paragraph, distributes to additional clients) By Riham Alkousaa BERLIN, April 23 German consumer morale reached a record low heading into May as the coronavirus pandemic and measures to contain the outbreak slammed the mood among shoppers, a survey showed on Thursday. The GfK consumer sentiment indicator, based on a survey of 2,000 Germans, entered negative territory, dropping to -23.4 points from a revised 2.3 in the previous month. The reading undershot a Reuters poll of analysts who had forecast a much less significant drop to -1.8. "The consumer climate is currently in free fall," Rolf Buerkl, a researcher for Nuremberg-based GfK, said in a statement, adding that a value of -23.4 was unprecedented in the history of the consumer climate survey. "Retailers, manufacturers and service providers must prepare for an imminent, very severe recession," Buerkl said. Consumer sentiment would remain subdued in the coming months as measures to curb the outbreak would be eased only slowly. The drop was exacerbated by a spike in consumers' propensity to save in the crisis, GfK said. Production shutdowns, shops' closures and supply chain disruptions forced many companies to put employees on short-time work schemes, hitting consumers' income and economic expectations, the survey showed. A subordinator for consumers' income expectations in April recorded the biggest drop since the survey started in 1980. "The fear of job loss has risen sharply among many employees," Buerkl said. "This is a significant barrier to consumption, which is intensified by the fact that closed shops often make it impossible to buy stuff." May 20 April 20 May 19 Consumer climate -23.4 2.3 10.2 Consumer climate components April 20 March 20 April 19 - willingness to buy -4.6 31.4 53.1 - income expectations -19.3 27.8 56.8 - business cycle expectations -21.4 -19.2 3.0 NOTE - The consumer climate indicator forecasts the development of real private consumption in the following month. An indicator reading above zero signals year-on-year growth in private consumption. A value below zero indicates a drop in comparison with the same period a year ago. According to GfK, a one-point change in the indicator corresponds to a year-on-year change of 0.1 percent in private consumption. The "willingness to buy" indicator represents the balance between positive and negative responses to the question: "Do you think now is a good time to buy major items?" The income expectations sub-index reflects expectations about the development of household finances in the coming 12 months. The additional business cycle expectations index reflects the assessment of those questioned of the general economic situation in the next 12 months. (Reporting by Riham Alkousaa, editing by Michael Nienaber)

Coronavirus pushes down German consumer moral to record low

23 Apr 2020

BERLIN German consumer moral reached a record low heading into May as the coronavirus pandemic and measures to contain the outbreak slammed the mood among shoppers, a survey showed on Thursday.

Refugees to the rescue? Germany taps migrant medics to battle virus

25 Mar 2020

BERLIN Five years ago the arrival of a wave of refugees caused much consternation and fuelled support for Germany's far-right. Now, the country is turning to its migrant community to plug an anticipated shortage of medical staff battling the coronavirus.

Merkel says 'Let's get through this' as shops, bars and churches shut

16 Mar 2020

BERLIN German shops will close, restaurants cut their opening hours and churches and mosques will stand empty under drastic steps announced on Monday to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Gripped with coronavirus fears, German consumers pinch their pennies - GfK

20 Feb 2020

BERLIN German consumer morale deteriorated slightly in February as fears that the coronavirus outbreak in China would worsen a slowdown in Europe's biggest economy made Germans less willing to take out their wallets, a survey showed on Thursday.

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