Along with the general improvement of the covid situation, since the beginning of this year, consumers’ mood has also improved more and more, reporting less worry in various areas of daily activity. The momentum of this trend was halted by Russia’s attack on Ukraine. According to the Global State of the Consumer Tracker survey conducted at the end of March by the consulting firm Deloitte, only 4%. The Poles interviewed do not fear that the war will have an impact on their daily life. At the same time, respondents clearly expect a corresponding price increase. Signs of concern over the political situation also remained high.
The 29th edition of the Global State of the Consumer Tracker was conducted at the end of March 2022 and it is the first wave of the survey in which direct questions were asked about respondents’ mood expressed after the attack of the Russia versus Ukraine. Already in a previous survey, carried out at the end of February and March, respondents most often mentioned the political situation as a matter of concern – this was indicated by 73% at the time. Poles surveyed, and social unrest is cited by more than half (55%). A month earlier, 55% each. pointed towards politics and the sphere of finance. In the latest survey, from the end of March, worries about the political sphere have decreased slightly, to 69%, and the financial (52%) and social (47%) areas hover around half of the indications.
According to the Deloitte study, the outbreak of the war in Ukraine is very clearly perceived as an event potentially affecting the daily life of respondents in Poland. Only 4 percent. of respondents think the opposite, and just over one in ten (11%) are slightly worried. 26 percent of respondents believe they are a bit worried, and 17 percent. – only moderately. However, the most common answer indicates very serious concerns about the development of accidents in Ukraine and their consequences – this is what 42% said. asked.
Expected consequences of the war
These general concerns translate into very specific indications of where consumers think they will feel the consequences of war. Respondents expect their impact to be greatest on fuel prices at service stations (68%) and the ability to heat homes (61%). 56 percent mention food prices, and 45 percent. – the media. One in three respondents (36%) postpone larger purchases due to the war, and slightly fewer (31%) expect limited availability of certain goods. The travel plans of international respondents are certainly the most common sphere which, in the opinion of respondents, is not influenced at all by the ongoing war – this is what 27% think. of them.
Less inflation fears in Poland
The Deloitte survey shows that the global upward trend in inflation concerns continues for another month in a row. Since the end of last year, the percentage of these declarations has increased by 7 pp, to 75%. Interestingly, this trend seems different in the responses of Polish respondents. In the previous month, up to 83%. of respondents who indicated they were worried about the rising costs of the daily shopping basket, once again put Poland in the top three countries most concerned about inflation – alongside South Africa and the Spain, where 86% said so. asked. At the end of March, however, while in each of these two countries the percentage had increased by 2 pp, in Poland it had fallen by 3 pp (to 80%). On the other hand, Ireland entered the top three, where those worried about prices rose by 6 percentage points, to 86%. Opposite sentiments are expressed by respondents from China (51%) and Japan (56%) – in both cases an improvement of 3pp, down 2pp, to 57%. however, South Korea’s statements have deteriorated.
Participants in the Deloitte survey in Poland also indicated the reasons for the price increase and the most common belief was that the magnitude of the increases is definitely too high compared to inflation and that sellers are using the situation to increase their own income. 58% answered yes. asked. Assessed twice less than thanks to increases, companies only cover their own growing costs.
The Deloitte survey results clearly show that in the area of overall consumer sentiment, respondents reported an improvement for another consecutive month, although individual indications did not increase as clearly as the previous month. At the end of February, the biggest increase was in the absence of fear when personally participating in mass events – up to 50%, or 9 pp more than in the previous survey. In the latest survey, from the end of March, this indication gained another 3 pp
Better answers also apply to the other categories examined. Feeling safe when visiting restaurants rose to 65%, also by 3pp, after a big jump at the end of February – then the percentage of people saying so jumped by 7pp. The use of personal services is considered safe by 63%. respondents (up 2 pp at the end and 7 pp at the start of February). Ratings for purchases in physical stores rose another percentage point (to 68%, after a 7 pp jump the previous month), and in the case of hotel stays, they rose by 3 pp (at 63%). Although in the case of air travel, mood improved by 9 pp in two months, it is still the category of activity that enjoys the least confidence – still less than half of respondents ( 49%) feel safe in this case.
Flying was also associated with the most common feeling of anxiety in Poland – nearly two-thirds of respondents (60%) said so, and within a month ratings for this activity improved by 6pp . visit a restaurant where 66 percent. of respondents feel safe and this represents an increase of 7pp in one month and up to 19%. since the end of last year.
– In many ways, we have found ourselves in a situation similar to that seen two years ago when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out – society is experiencing increasing uncertainty and must deal with a very dynamically changing situation , the long-term consequences of which we are not able to foresee. We need to be aware that the war on our eastern border affects all aspects of life, including consumer choices and the perceived sense of danger in various areas of daily activity. This is probably the reason why the sense of security, which was growing so clearly before, slowed down – Anita Bielańska, director of consulting department, head of consumer industry at Deloitte.
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