A recurring nightmare
The Kantar Consumer Index dropped to 34.1 points, which is a record low in the timeframe of approximately the last year, with negative voices outweighing positive opinions on an unprecedented scale.
Until recently, most Poles still hoped that the “we’re going to come out of it all unscathed” scenario was still within reach. The (deceptively) post-covid comeback to reality was rather dynamic. Concerns about an economically unfavourable future also proved to be uncalled for in many cases. Objectively speaking, the economic status of most Polish households did not deteriorate significantly.
However, currently the situation has changed again, and drastically so. The ‘recurring nightmare’ scenario has become reality, resulting in the impression that there is no control over the situation, and that a crisis cannot be avoided. Concerns about the future economic status of the country have reached an all-time high, with 52% of the population worried, whereas the indicator predicting future economic status of households has plummeted. This points to a growing sense of lack of agency and inability to affect the economic reality.
If we look at the economic behaviour of the consumers, a significant change can be observed as compared with the first wave of the pandemic. Concerns about the future go hand in hand with practical measures aimed at cutting back on unnecessary expenses, postponing major purchases, rescheduling loans, as well as a clear increase in the consumers’ tendency to save money motivated by uncertainty of the economic future of their own households.