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Economy. Survey: consumer sentiment still at a very low level

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Consumer sentiment is still at a very low level, according to the GfK Consumer Mood Barometer survey. It added that sentiment is at one of the lowest levels in the entire history of the survey.

As indicated by the GfK Consumer Mood Barometer, i.e. a synthetic indicator illustrating the current mood of Poles in terms of consumer attitudes, it increased in March this year by 0.3 pp and amounted to minus 17.1 compared to the previous month. “Sentiment is therefore still at a very low level – one of the lowest in the entire history of the survey” – it added.

Holidays don’t make you feel better

According to GfK, the beginning of spring and the upcoming Easter holidays did not improve the mood of Polish consumers. We still look into the future with great caution and do not expect any significant changes – both in our own portfolios and in the economy as a whole. At the same time, almost half of us forecast further increases in prices and unemployment.

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According to GfK, in March 2023 Poles described their current financial situation as worse compared to February (index minus 24.8 against minus 22.8 in February 2023).

The assessment of the financial situation of households in March amounted to minus 19.2 against minus 18.4 a month ago. Almost half of the respondents (47 percent) expect that the next few months will bring an increase in unemployment, but this result is lower by almost 3 percentage points than in February 2023. At the same time, 57 percent. believe that the prices of goods and services will continue to rise, with 45% of respondents believe that inflation – contrary to the announcements of the Monetary Policy Council – it will maintain a two-digit dynamics.

“WITH data from the Central Statistical Office it shows that the salaries of Poles are steadily increasing. Unfortunately, at the same time, the increase in the prices of products and services accelerates even faster. Thus, we do not expect a revolution in consumer trends – with a small exception, which may be Easter. Experience and hard statistical data from the past show that regardless of the economic situation and common social concerns, we try to celebrate the most important annual events as much as possible. And that will most likely be the case this time as well. In the context of Christmas, we will not be deterred by record-high mayonnaise prices or rising prices of other popular products,” said Barbara Lewicka from GfK.

“However, we can expect that right after Christmas in retail, especially in the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods – ed.) sector, there will be greater abstinence again. Poles will have to compensate for the Christmas surplus in spending, which may translate into a temporary detox from shopping and lower turnover across the entire retail industry.

Except for young Poles

In March 2023, positive consumer sentiment concerned only one age group analyzed by GfK: people aged 23-29 (the index reached 1.1). At the other extreme were seniors with a score of minus 24.1. At the same time, young Poles expect their quality of life to improve in the coming year, which is indicated by a jump in the value of the indicator by 21 pp (8.1 in March 2023 against minus 13.1 in February 2023).

The survey shows that compared to the previous month, the disproportion in moods based on the level of education decreased again: the best moods were recorded by GfK among people with primary education (minus 14.4), and the worst among people with higher education (minus 21, 5).

The study was carried out on March 3-8, 2023 as part of a multi-subject e-Bus omnibus study using the CAWI method (computer-assisted interviews with respondents using a survey posted on the Internet) on a quota, subject-representative, nationwide sample of 1,000 people.

The barometer can take values ​​from -100 to +100 and this is the balance between positive and negative opinions. A positive value of the barometer indicates that in a given survey wave the number of consumers with an optimistic attitude outweighs the number of consumers with a pessimistic attitude. A negative value on the barometer means that this ratio is reversed.

The barometer is an aggregated indicator commissioned by the European Commission, calculated since 1985. Currently, the index covers 27 countries. Data for Poland come from the GfK study co-financed by the European Commission.

Main photo source: Mateusz Marek/PAP



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