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Poles Continue to Worry About Their Financial Situation

FINANCEPoles Continue to Worry About Their Financial Situation

Over half of respondents are not prepared for an unexpected expense, but fewer people are complaining about a lack of money at the end of the month, according to the “Consumer Signals” report by consulting firm Deloitte. When asked about their life priorities, Poles increasingly prioritize well-being and personal experiences over owning various goods.

Deloitte’s cyclical survey covers consumer sentiment and analyzes the impact of factors like inflation on individual purchasing decisions. The financial condition of residents of nearly 20 countries is assessed based on monthly surveys.

Sudden Expense a Major Challenge

Although the latest survey results show that financial concerns still trouble many of us, Polish consumers express cautious optimism in some areas. The main concerns for Poles remain financial situation (41%) and health (40%, down 1 percentage point from the previous month). Those predicting price increases for commonly purchased products still make up three-quarters of all Polish respondents. However, the number of people declaring a lack of funds at the end of the month has decreased by 4 percentage points to 32% compared to the previous survey. The proportion of respondents whose personal financial situation is worse than a year ago remains unchanged at 44%. Over half of respondents (52%, down 1 percentage point from the previous month) believe they are unable to handle an unexpected expense. Those worried about their savings account for 38% of respondents (up 1 percentage point from March 2024). At the same time, the percentage of those fearing their ability to cover upcoming payments has dropped by 5 percentage points to 31%.

“Consumer Signals”

Financial issues remain a challenge for many Poles, as evidenced by the fact that one in two residents of our country does not have the funds to cover an unexpected expense. On the other hand, fewer of us are worried about our ability to meet financial obligations. This indicates that despite widespread concerns, Polish consumers show improved sentiment in some areas. The constant percentage of respondents predicting price increases shows that inflation remains a significant concern. – says Michał Pieprzny, partner and leader of the Consumer Industry in Poland, Deloitte.

Most Polish consumers believe that product prices will rise in the coming months

Seventy-three percent of respondents expect food prices to increase, which is 11 percentage points more than in the previous survey. The percentage of those indicating a rise in fuel prices remains unchanged at 73%. More than three-quarters of respondents predict higher household utility bills, and six out of ten (up 7 percentage points) expect clothing prices to rise.

Concerns about future prices are not limited to Poland but are also present in other countries. The highest percentage of respondents fearing further price increases for commonly purchased products and services was recorded in Portugal (84%), Australia (84%), Spain (82%), and South Africa (81%). At the other end of the spectrum are Asian countries: Japan (65%), South Korea (64%), Saudi Arabia (61%), and China (47%).

Well-Being and Experiences Gain Importance

The latest edition of the Consumer Signals survey examined Poles’ approach to sustainability and related consumer decisions. It turns out that 32% of respondents try to plan purchases to reduce food waste. Furthermore, one-third of us are reducing the number of possessions. Only 5% of respondents admit to buying expensive indulgences. When asked whether they spend more money on experiences and experiences or material things, 12% of respondents chose the former. This is 4 percentage points more than physical goods. Sixteen percent of respondents said they seek personal experiences, twice the percentage of consumers who prefer digital services.

Personal well-being seems to be gaining importance for Poles. It is now a priority for one in five respondents. When asked about their current goals, 16% of respondents said they are working hard to develop themselves, including professionally. One percentage point more indicated that they prefer to enjoy the present day. One in ten respondents focuses on earning money, while others aim to achieve more meaningful goals. Twenty percent of respondents indicate that they are saving money for the future, while 8% spend it on current needs and desires.

The survey results show that Polish society, which struggled with a shortage economy for many years, is now changing its priorities. After years of catching up from a difficult period, when access to goods and services increased significantly, and consumers could meet their purchasing needs more quickly, a shift in approach is observable. More of us are striving to make conscious consumer choices, such as reducing the amount of food bought. We are also placing greater importance on personal development and experiences. This indicates that Poles increasingly value quality of life and a sustainable approach to consumption. This is an important signal for entrepreneurs who should adjust their offerings and communication to changing consumer preferences – says Julia Patorska, partner in the Sustainability team at Deloitte.

About the Survey

The latest edition of the survey was conducted between April and May 2024. It was the 54th edition conducted globally and the 45th involving Polish consumers. Deloitte experts surveyed residents of 20 countries, including Poland, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa, Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.

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