Germans stock up again on soap, toilet paper as infections soar

The coronavirus pandemic is again making its mark on German consumer habits, as official data released on Thursday showed a spike in sales of items such as toilet paper and disinfectant.

During the period of October 12-17, people in Germany bought almost twice as much toilet paper compared to pre-crisis levels, rising by around 89.9 per cent.

Sales of disinfectant and soap also soared by 72.5 per cent and 62.3 per cent, respectively, compared to averages calculated between the months of August 2019 and January 2020.

Shoppers were also stocking up on certain food items, with flour sales up by 28.4 per cent and yeast sales rising by 34.8 per cent.

Germany is currently reporting more daily coronavirus cases – at well over 11,000 cases per day – than at the start of the pandemic in March, although testing has been ramped up significantly since then.

Politicians and retailers have repeatedly urged the public not to resort to panic-buying, after a boom in demand for essentials shortly after the pandemic first reached Germany led to shortages in some supermarkets.

However, most large chains do not expect similar levels of panic-buying this time around, according to a survey conducted by dpa earlier this week.

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