, the leading global insights technology and panel provider, has revealed key trends from the latest wave of its Global Consumer Barometer, which surveyed 15,000+ people across 19 markets to see how they’re responding to the rising cost of living.
With more than a third (34%) of global consumers feeling that financial organisations have not been supportive enough in their response to the global economic crisis, the report contains important insights for businesses seeking to improve the support they’re offering customers.
Four in 10 global consumers are “very concerned” about their personal financial security, given current economic circumstances. This is an increase from 37% in March 2022, and from 30% in May 2021. However, there are some signs of optimism, with 43% believing their personal financial situation will improve by the end of 2023.
Nearly one-quarter (24%) will turn to a bank or building society if they need financial support in the coming months, 14% would rely on their government or social welfare system, while 13% would look to credit card companies.
The report also shows how consumers are continuing to adapt behaviours and plan for financial challenges. Some 61% are postponing big life expenditures until the economic climate is more stable, while 50% of consumers will reduce unnecessary spending over the next three months.
Other key findings in the report include:
- Of those surveyed, 74% of global consumers would like their savings and investments to align with their own values, while 65% would never invest in a product that was detrimental to sustainability
- Just 27% of global consumers say they are very confident spending money over the coming months given the cost of living, dropping to just 17% in Europe
- 53% of Europeans say they are either ‘very concerned’ or ‘extremely concerned’ about the rising cost of living, with the same proportion either ‘very concerned’ or ‘extremely concerned’ about rising inflation
- Confidence is highest in the Americas, where 68% think they will be better off by the end of the year. Meanwhile, 28% of Europeans expect to have less disposable income over the coming months, compared to the global average of 25%
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“The research shows that financial services organisations need to continue to evolve the support for customers during times of economic hardship,” said Michael Worledge, Financial Services Research Sector Head, Toluna.
“Even while many respondents are optimistic about their personal financial situation, more than six in 10 are postponing major purchases and half are cutting back on their spending and will turn to their providers for help. With the impact of the rising cost-of-living continuing to be felt, organisations must offer support and flexibility, but also improve, evolve and replace products in line with changing customers’ needs and the current economic environment.”