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Seven out of every ten Greeks are worried about their immediate future

15 September 2011 / 12:09:42  GRReporter
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Seven out of every ten Greeks have serious concerns about their future, shows survey "Navigation in the new conditions of consumers” conducted by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). At the same time similar unrest worries only about 52% of Western Europeans in Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain. In the U.S. worries about their future have about 53% of the people. One in every four Greeks have serious concerns if they can keep their current job, and similar concern have less people in Spain (19%), Italy (18%) and France (17%). 

60% of Greeks have reduced their expenses in 2010 and 53% of the saved expenses will be further reduced in 2011. This is because people expect to receive lower incomes from wages and pensions and are worried that they or another family member are likely to lose their jobs, and will not be able to pay their current liabilities. 

The study was conducted in 21 countries, involving a total of 25,000 people. Greece was included for the first time in this analysis of consumer attitudes with a sample of 800 people. 74% of Greeks answered positively to the question "Were you affected by the international economic crisis?". With about one-third less or 47% of Western Europeans (Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Spain) appear to be personally affected by the recent crisis, and 57% of the U.S.. The biggest worry is for the following 12 months when consumers in Greece plan to significantly reduce their expenses. 79% of respondents said they would defer all purchases which are not indispensable and 73% are adamant that they will limit purchases to only essential goods. These rates are significantly higher than the average adopted in other European countries. 

Despite the obvious worry for their immediate future, Greeks could hardly abandon their old habits and respond that for the most part after the crisis they will return to their old ways of spending. For now, however, Greeks hold the strap of their user bait and start putting new priorities when they spend their money. Terms such as "health", "saving", "good quality for price" already have more important places in their Greek dictionary. However, demand for luxury goods is observed to have slower decline in Greece than in other European countries, confirming the adage "old habits die last." 

77% of respondents in Greece said they have serious concerns for the future, while in the five major EU countries the number is 53% and in the U.S.- 52%. In recent years six out of every ten Greeks has reduced their expenses on food, but only 7% have increased them. 35% of respondents said they did not change and do not intend to change their expenses on food in the household. Categories that seem most affected by the crisis in Greece are spirits and beer, for which 71% and 70% of consumers said they plan to reduce the costs. 17% of respondents said they would increase consumption of meat and dairy products and save money from reducing other costs. 65 percent say they will limit to the maximum spending money on non-food products. First on the list of unwanted goods are now jewelry with 76 percent and fast food restaurants with 71 percent. Categories for which consumers are willing to increase spending are baby clothes, where 16% of respondents are willing to spend more. 

Each period is characterized to some degree by a change of consumer behavior. In this line of thought, the crisis is creating some opportunities for manufacturers. The study of The Boston Consulting Group shows that in the next 12 months Greeks will reduce high costs and will postpone those that are not urgent. They will seek mainly goods with special offers and promotional prices. There is already a shift in consumer attention from well-known brands to smaller producers who often offer competitive quality at affordable prices. 

Tags: Greece economy crisis survey expenses costs
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