The Citizen (Gauteng)
Less-than-rosy outlook on finances by consumer frontline workers
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