More pessimistic Italians: the pandemic effect on spending and lifestyle habits

Lhe pandemic has left its markworsening the situation and expectations of Italian families. The onset of inflation and the loss of purchasing power then produced a shock that goes beyond the pandemic and which, three years after the health emergency, it is influencing sentiment and choices consumption and savings. Just think that 1 Italian out of 2 is pessimistic since he believes that the performance of the country’s economy has worsened. This is what was found by 35th Eurispes Report presented today in Rome.

“We are not in ordinary times”, admitted the President of Eurispes, Gian Maria Faraexplaining that “the extraordinary nature of the present time is measured by the fact that events considered unpredictable, incredible are becoming an element of normality in our lives, are evaluated and lived as if they were events and processes not destined to profoundly modify the structures and dynamics of our societies and our personal lives.

Pessimism about the economy is growing

If 53.8% of citizens said to see a worsening of the economy in the last year, it should be noted that this data was conditioned by the pandemic, which produced greater pessimism: until 2020 the opinion prevailed that the situation was essentially stable.

There is a tendency to pessimism even if one looks to the future economic situation in Italy in the next 12 months, even if many hope for stability: 30% fear that it will get worse and only 8.5% count on an improvement, while 31.2% of Italians expect a stable situation; there is also 30.2% who do not know or do not answer.

Quieter personal situation. Despite the perception of a worsening of the country’s economic situation, 42% of the interviewees affirm that the personal/family financial situation in the last 12 months is remained stable.

Weighing inflation, gifts and meals “away from home” are cut

The vast majority of Italians (75.1%), over the last year, has seen prices rise in Italy, especially for billsi generi food and the gas (with more than 90% of indications).

In response, they have been expenses reduced by and gifts (69.6%); purchased more products on sale (64.6%), or in cheaper points of sale (61%) or, in the case of food products, purchased in discount stores (56.2%); many have changed the brand of a food product if it is cheaper (64%).

And above all, 60.5% of Italians have given up more often to meals away from homewhile 58.6% reduced expenses for travel and holidays and 57.2% those for free time. 77.8% limited going out; about 70% preferred film in streaming, in dvd or on the platform instead of the cinema. 63.6% watch matches on TV instead of going to the stadium.

61% replaced going out to the pizzeria or restaurant with dinners at home with friends. 56.7% wear the lunch at the office or university from home to reduce expenses, while others more often go to their parents or relatives for lunch or dinner (45.5%).

The heaviest expenses

The expense which most often puts families in difficulty is the payment of rent (48.4%), followed by bills and utilities (37.9%; +3.5% compared to 2022) and from the installment of mutual (37.5%), while three out of ten Italians have difficulty paying medical expenses (30.1%; +5.6%).

On the savings front only 1 Italian out of 4 succeeds to save (24.6%) and 38.9% of families are forced to use savings to make ends meet. In economic difficulties, the family of origin still functions as a social shock absorber (36.8%).

“Installments” are used more frequently

Due to the limited availability, the use of the installments of payments to deal with the purchase of new goods (45.8%): 16.3% chose online platforms that offer interest-free financial services (e.g. Klarna, Scalapay, etc.).

The need to save has instead pushed the 29.5% of Italians to pay illegally some services such as tutoring, repairs, babysitting, doctors, cleaning, etc., 28.6% had to give up baby sitter and 28% to the carer.

17.4% of the citizens interviewed needed to resort to bank loans o to finance companies in the last 3 years especially for the purchase of a house (37.4%) and a car/motorcycle (36.3%). Only 22.8% think they can save money in the next 12 months.

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