Concerns about how the COVID-19 outbreak will impact finances are growing – but people still expect the national and international situations to be worse than their own, according to the latest wave of coronavirus research from GlobalWebIndex.

The research agency’s second wave of multi-market research (undertaken in 17 countries between March 31 and April 2) explores how concerns are growing for most people, how behaviours are changing, and how attitudes towards advertising are twofold.

There’s a growing acceptance that a longer timescale is likely before the outbreak is brought under control – six in ten think the global outbreak will last six months or more although people tend to be more optimistic about their own countries’ prospects.

There’s a similar outlook when it comes to finance. Since its first wave of research, GWI has seen “a notable increase in the number of consumers expecting the situation to have a big or dramatic impact on their personal finances”, but overall, “it’s still less than 50% in almost all of the 17 countries tracked in wave 2”.

Large majorities in all countries, however, expect the coronavirus outbreak to have a big or dramatic impact on the country’s economy” – more than 90% in Australia, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, and Spain.

The biggest gaps in terms of the expected impact on personal vs national finances, GWI reports, can be found in Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the US – all of which record at least a 50-point difference (58 points in the UK).

“Effectively, it’s a protectionist or preservation mindset kicking in for the individual,” says GWI, “showing that support is likely to be needed as the true impacts on personal finances begin to emerge more clearly.”

Meanwhile, more consumers have turned to online shopping at this time – almost one in two say they’re doing more – with a clear focus on essentials: food/grocery products, household essentials and personal care products are at the top of the list, although two in ten online consumers also say they’re shopping more for clothing.

As for attitudes to advertising, about 50% globally say they approve of brands running “normal” advertising campaigns which aren’t linked to coronavirus; only around 20% express disapproval, with the rest being neutral.

But GWI finds higher approval scores for brands running campaigns which show how they are responding to coronavirus / helping customers, as well as for contacting customers to let them know how they are responding (both at around 80%).

Sourced from GlobalWebIndex