European consumers in gloomy mood

07 October 2010

LONDON: Many consumers in some of Europe's biggest markets believe their personal financial situation will deteriorate during the coming year, a survey has found.

The Janus Capital Group partnered with Absolute Strategy Research and TNS-BMRB to interview 6,010 adults from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK.

Overall, the resultant index of financial wellbeing peaked at 45 points in the Netherlands, but dropped to -50 points in Spain.

Totals fell by the largest margin, 23 points, in France since a similar study in 2009, and only Germany enjoyed an uptick.

Looking ahead, the majority of participants "have revised down their expectations" for the next 12 months, the Janus Capital Group revealed.

A further 28% of households anticipated they were likely to be worse off going forward, measured against 24% backing this statement in 2009.

More specifically, 55% of Spanish residences reported their circumstances had depreciated after the last round of research.

Just 29% of Germans participants, and 28% in the Netherlands, also supported this assertion.

Inflation was causing anxiety among 37% of the panel, while higher unemployment posted 19%, and declining income and rising taxation both reached 15%.

Elsewhere, 16% of those polled indicated their income was insufficient to support current spending patterns, and 49% were "making ends meet".

Approximately 32% are managing to save money, and fewer shoppers had borrowings on credit cards or unsecured loans compared with 2009.

"European consumers appear to have lost their optimism for a speedy recovery from recession," said David Bowers, of Absolute Strategy Research.

"Rather than the broad-based recovery that was hoped for, European household finances appear on an increasingly divergent trend."

Data sourced from PR Log; additional content by Warc staff