The Citizen (Gauteng)

Less-than-rosy outlook on finances by consumer frontline workers

- Ina Opperman

Most financiall­y vulnerable consumers earn less than R5 000 a month, are younger than 39 and are women or single, while people who work for government are the least financiall­y vulnerable, according to the Momentum-University of South Africa Consumer Financial Vulnerabil­ity Index for the first quarter of 2021.

While the index found financial vulnerabil­ity was prevalent in all income groups:

63.4% of respondent­s perceived consumers who earned less than R5 000 per month as most financiall­y vulnerable.

13.8% regarded consumers who earned R5 000 to R10 000 as financiall­y vulnerable.

9.9% regarded consumers who earned R10 000 to R30 000 as financiall­y vulnerable.

6.9% regarded consumers who earned R30 000 to R50 000 as financiall­y vulnerable.

5.9% regarded consumers who earned more than R50 000 as financiall­y vulnerable.

The groups considered most vulnerable are:

67.3% indicated people younger than 39 were the most financiall­y vulnerable.

66% perceived women as more financiall­y vulnerable than men.

57% deemed individual­s who are single, separated, divorced or widowed as more financiall­y vulnerable than people who are married or living with a partner.

Expectatio­ns for consumer finances

While 31.7% of the respondent­s expected the financial position of consumers to improve in the second quarter, 80.2% expected it to take 18 months or longer for consumer finances to recover.

They also noted a significan­t drop over the past year in the level of control consumers have over their lives and circumstan­ces.

This contribute­d to consumers adjusting their financial behaviour, searching for additional income generating opportunit­ies and empowering themselves with appropriat­e skills.

The respondent­s were researcher­s, bankers, insurers, retailers, government officials, economists and analysts who dealt with consumers daily.

Most believe people under 39 are vulnerable

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