Household confidence deteriorated sharply in the third quarter of 2020, according to the results of the HCP’s Continuous Household Survey.
Indeed, the household confidence index (HCI), the components of which relate to the perception of changes in living standards, unemployment, the opportunity to purchase durable goods and the financial situation of households, stood at 60.6 points, compared to 65.6 points recorded in the previous quarter and 74.8 points a year earlier, the HCP said in a briefing note on the survey results in Q3-2020.
According to the results of this survey, 55% of households report a deterioration in the standard of living over the last 12 months, 25.6% a maintenance at the same level and 19.4% an improvement, while the balance of opinion on the past evolution of the standard of living remained negative, at minus 35.6 points against minus 24.8 points in the previous quarter and minus 20.2 points in the same quarter of last year.
Over the next 12 months, 41.5% of households expect the standard of living to deteriorate, 34.3% expect it to remain at the same level and 24.1% expect it to improve, the note noted, adding that the balance of opinion on this indicator reached minus 17.4 points, a deterioration both compared to the previous quarter and compared to the same quarter of the previous year when it recorded minus 11.4 points and minus 3.7 points respectively.
At the same time, the survey shows that in Q3 of 2020, 87.1% versus 5.1% of households expect unemployment to increase over the next 12 months. The balance of opinion thus remained negative at minus 82 points compared to minus 75.2 points a quarter earlier and minus 71.8 points a year earlier.
Regarding purchases of durable goods, 74.3% against 10.8% of households consider that the time is not opportune to make these purchases, the same source points out, noting that the balance of opinion of this indicator was thus established at minus 63.5 points against minus 68 points in the previous quarter and minus 37.7 points in the same quarter of the year 2019.
Moreover, 60.4% of households believe that their income covers their expenses, 35.6% report going into debt or drawing on their savings, and 4.1% say they are saving part of their income. The balance of opinion regarding the current financial situation of households thus remained negative, at minus 31.5 points compared to minus 30.0 points in the previous quarter and minus 29.5 points a year earlier.
As for the evolution of their financial situation over the last 12 months, 41.6% against 7.6% of households consider that it has deteriorated. The balance of this perception thus remains negative, standing at minus 34 points against minus 27 points in the previous quarter and minus 26 points in the same quarter of the previous year.
Concerning the evolution of their financial situation over the next 12 months, 15.4% versus 27.3% of households expect an improvement in their financial situation. The balance of opinion for this indicator has again been negative since the previous quarter, dropping to minus 11.9 points, compared with minus 4.6 points one quarter earlier and 12.8 points a year earlier.
The survey also provides quarterly data on household perceptions of other aspects of living conditions. These include, in particular, households’ ability to save and changes in food prices.