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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 15.08.2020, 11:09

Estonians cut consumption most in Europe

BC, Tallinn, 28.07.2020.Print version
A total of 65 percent of residents in Estonia reduced their day-to-day expenditures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is the highest such ratio in Europe, it appears from a survey conducted for credit management services company Intrum, cites LETA/BNS.

Next on the list came France with 47 percent and Ireland with 46 percent. Also Latvia, with a  ratio of 42 percent, and Lithuania, with 38 percent, stood higher than the European average ratio of 36 percent. The countries at the bottom of the list were Hungary with 21 percent and Austria, Denmark and Germany, all with 23 percent.

"Considering that 79 percent of the respondents in Estonia are not satisfied with their monthly saving capability and 32 percent don't put aside money every month, it can be understood why expenditures had to be cut due to COVID-19," Ilva Valeika, managing director of Intrum Baltics, said.

After the COVID-19 crisis, two in three Baltic residents have limited their purchases to basic staples. In Estonia such approach is more widespread among women, with 73 percent of women and 53 percent of men saying they intend to buy only basic necessities. The same is true for Latvia, where the ratios are 69 percent for women and 55 percent for men, whereas in Lithuania there is no difference between the responses of people of different sexes.

Where in Estonia only half the respondents in the youngest age group of 18-21 said they were confining their purchases to basic necessities, in Latvia the ratio of such responses in the youngest age group was as high as 75 percent.

According to the findings of the survey, young people in Estonia and Lithuania were less concerned about their consumption habits. 

"Since many of them depend on the income of their parents, they may not immediately recognize the impact from their parents' lower income or temporary unemployment," Valeika said.

Consumption in Estonia has been restored rapidly, however, as according to Statistics Estonia retail turnover in May was just one percent lower than in May 2019. Growth originated mostly in stores selling household goods, home appliances, ironware and building materials, as well as in categories such as computers and accessories, books, sports goods, games, toys, flowers and plants. 

At the same time, the sales of stores selling textile products, garments and footwear were down 22 percent on year in May.

Altogether 4,800 people in 24 countries of Europe were interviewed for the COVID-19 related survey commissioned by Intrum. The sample was made up of men and women upwards of age 18 who fully or partially manage the finances of their household. The minimum size of the sample per country was 200 respondents.

The survey was conducted by Longitude, a company of The Financial Times Group headquartered in London, from May 11-12. 

Intrum is an European credit management service provider that is active in 25 countries and employs a workforce of more than 10,000 people.

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