Another month of lower consumer moods

April 2022 is another consecutive month in which GfK recorded a decline in its consumer confidence index in Poland. Despite strong negative factors, such as the war in Ukraine, record inflation or constantly rising interest rates, buyers’ reactions are not violent. The market shows a rather moderate pessimism and a cold calculation of future expenses.

The GfK Consumer Mood Barometer is a synthetic indicator illustrating the current mood of Poles in terms of consumer attitudes. In April 2022, it stood at -14.2. It fell by 2.2 pp compared to the previous month. The decline is in line with the average trend of the last six months. As consumers, we assess the current and future financial situation at a lower level than a month ago – both in the field of household budgets and the country’s economy as a whole.

In April 2022, negative consumer sentiment was recorded across most age groups

The lowest rate (-24.1) remains in the group of people aged 60 and over. This is almost 5 pp less than a month ago. The highest result, meanwhile, concerns the age group 23-29 years and amounts to 4.4. The indicator remains at a positive level only in the youngest group, aged 15-22 (1.6). According to data collected by GfK, the consumer confidence index in Poland invariably drops to a lower level with age.

As for the breakdown by gender, a one-off trend reversal occurred in March. The following month, however, there was a return to the statistics, according to which worse moods are recorded in Poland among women (-15.3 in April). Among men, the indicator was -13.1.

Larger disparities can be observed in the case of different levels of education

However, the differences in this regard are not as stark as they were a few months ago. In April, consumer sentiment was weakest in the higher education graduates group (-17.7). For comparison, among people with primary education, the indicator reached the level of -10.4.

The change of mood took place in the expected direction. She confirmed that consumers perceive and understand the possible consequences of current events. The decline in the assessment of the current financial situation is very clear. This is greatly influenced by price and cost factors and the ongoing war in Ukraine. But the assessment of the economic situation of farms in the next twelve months falls even more. This clearly shows that consumers are not expecting an immediate improvement and are preparing for savings scenarios.

Consider that 27% of an average family’s expenses are food and drink. Therefore, price pressure will first affect other components of our portfolio. This will most likely result in limiting spending on household goods, clothing and out-of-home consumption. It is also necessary to take into account all the more that the perception of a good price and an attractive promotion will determine the choice of a store or a brand. Already 74% of Polish shoppers are characterized by smart shopping behavior and this will not change soon – says Szymon Mordasiewicz, commercial director of the GfK Polonia Household Panel.

About the study

The study was carried out between April 1 and 7, 2022 as part of the multi-thematic omnibus e-Bus study according to the CAWI method. These are computer-assisted interviews with respondents using a questionnaire posted on the Internet. They were carried out on a representative national sample of N = 1000 people. The structure of the respondents was chosen by keeping the distribution of the selected socio-demographic parameters reflecting the distribution of these characteristics in the general population.

The barometer can take values ​​from –100 to +100. It is the balance between positive and negative opinions. A positive barometric value indicates that in a given survey wave, the number of optimistic consumers exceeds the number of pessimistic consumers. A negative value of the barometer means that the proportion is reversed.

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

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