A survey conducted in 17 countries showed that British consumers are the world leaders in accumulating savings during pandemic lockdowns that have shut down shopping and travel opportunities.
YouGov Plc’s findings highlight one of the biggest questions economists are trying to answer. How quickly families spend their extra money, estimated at 250 billion pounds ($347 billion) in the UK and 500 billion euros ($596 billion) in the eurozone, will determine the strength of the recovery from the pandemic recession.
YouGov said about a third of people in the UK have increased their savings since March 2020, a level similar to Denmark but much higher than in the US, Germany, Italy, Spain and Australia. Their results were presented to Bloomberg.
Most people said they would just spend some extra money. YouGov said less than 15% said they would spend most of their money, but that figure was roughly 17% in the UK.
The results revealed growing optimism, with families in most countries expecting a better situation 12 months from now than it is today. Most have complained of a severe blow to their finances since the India-led pandemic.
“The Danes and Swedes outperformed all of the countries surveyed,” said Emma McInnes, director of global financial services at YOU.Governor Governor Of the eight European countries surveyed, some performed better than others. Two out of five people in Italy and Poland have seen their family’s financial situation deteriorate, which is much higher than in France, the UK and Germany. “
The survey of nearly 19,000 people was conducted from May 14 to 28. It included more than 1,000 people in every country except Hong Kong, where the sample was about half that size. In the United States and the United Kingdom, more than 2,000 people were interviewed in each.
In all of the countries surveyed, the majority of people went into debt, tapped into savings, or cut unnecessary expenditures. YouGov said fewer than a fifth were able to save more. This adds to the evidence that wealthy families were able to save money, while most people suffered.
“Many people around the world have had to deal with financial concerns and changes, such as concerns about job security and new spending and saving patterns,” McCins said.
India and Mexico were hit the hardest, with nearly half of people saying their family’s financial situation had declined.
For the UK, the survey feeds into the prevailing view that the economy is heading for a strong recovery from the worst recession in three centuries. The Bank of England expects the biggest surge in consumer spending since Margaret Thatcher was prime minister.
People’s willingness to rush has pushed inflation above the central bank’s 2% target for the first time in nearly two years. Retail sales increased at a record pace in April, when stores reopened. Spending shifted to restaurants and bars in May, when hotel establishments were able to serve customers indoors.
YouGov research has indicated that consumers in many places are expecting better days ahead.
“Overall, in most countries and regions surveyed, more people expect their financial conditions to improve than to decline,” McCins said. “There are notable exceptions such as Singapore, Hong Kong and France.”
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