Pawnbrokers the winners as economic reality bites in Germany

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By Euronews
Pawnbroker in Germany lends cash to a customer
Pawnbroker in Germany lends cash to a customer   -   Copyright  Euronews

As Germany feels the pinch of record inflation, pawnbrokers say there are seeing unprecedented demand. 

The war in Ukraine has pushed energy prices to stubbornly high levels and Germany's annual inflation rate hit 10% in September.

Russia, which was long Germany's main supplier of natural gas, started reducing supplies through the main Nord Stream 1 pipeline in June and halted them entirely at the end of August.

Pawnbroker Nikolaus Bode said increasing numbers of Germans were exchanging valuable goods for a cash loan.

"Like a bank, a pawnshop is an indicator of the economic situation in a country," he said.

The customer is only able to retrieve their possessions once the loan has been repaid in full, with interest and storage fees. 

If the loan isn't paid back, the pawnbroker can sell the item, and keep the money from the sale. 

But despite the risks, business is booming.

"We have never seen such an increase," Bode added. "We often had more customers, such as during the financial crisis. But not like now. These are really tough economic times." 

Watch the video, above, to find out more.