South Africans are cutting back on these things to get through the month

The TransUnion Consumer Pulse study for Q1 2022 finds that the majority (80%) of consumers say they’re making changes to their purchasing behaviour because of rising inflation.

The road to recovery for South African household incomes remains bumpy, the consumer credit reporting agency said. During the most recent quarter, a quarter of households surveyed reported an increase in income, while 32% reported a decrease. The
main reasons for reporting a decrease were job loss (29%), salary reduction (20%), and a reduction in work hours (18%).

“Still, South African consumers remained hopeful; 69% of respondents expected an increase in their income over the next 12 months — with only 10% having anticipated a decrease,” it said.

The annual inflation rate in South Africa climbed to 5.9% in March of 2022, from 5.7% in the prior month, and remains close to the top of the South African Reserve Bank’s target range of 3%–6%.  More than half (57%) of households said they cut back on
discretionary spending over the past few months, TransUnion said.

“When it comes to paying current bills and loans, 56% said they’ll be able to pay them in full, a 10%  improvement from Q1 2021. For those who said they’ll be unable to pay current bills and loans in full, 41%  noted they’ll only pay a partial amount, and 34% planned to use money from their savings to service bills and loan repayments.

“Many households did not expect increases in spending over the next three months; 53% said they’ll decrease discretionary spending; 43% said they’ll reduce large purchases, such as appliances and vehicles.”

Interestingly, 35% of households said they intend to increase investment and retirement fund contributions.

TransUnion’s quarterly survey explores how consumers’ personal finances have changed and what changes they expect in the future. The study measures changing consumer attitudes and behaviour based on the dynamics of income, and debt.

Read: South Africa’s middle class is under pressure – here’s how many would struggle to survive a financial emergency

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South Africans are cutting back on these things to get through the month