In recent times, the moods among Polish consumers have improved markedly. Although this is caused mostly by the economic upturn and the related improvement of the situation on the labour market, the most recent rapid increase in optimism in households is connected first and foremost to the expectations of additional income after the start of the “500+” program. The rates of those planning to purchase a car and those who manage to save some money are the highest since the measurements in question began.
Polish consumers have started to look to the future with optimism, particularly when it comes to opportunities for improving their financial standing. As indicated by research conducted by the Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Commission, in April the consumer trust index for the next 12 months recorded a value of 4.3 points compared to -6.1 points just six months prior. Such a rapid rise has been very rare in the history of the index (calculated since May 2001), and its current value is only marginally lower than in times of the economic boom of 2007-2008 (the difference is 0.5 points). The rates of those planning to purchase a car and those who manage to save some money are also at a record high.
Improvement in consumers’ expectations may contribute to strengthening domestic demand by neutralizing the possible impact of deflation – a potential deterrent for households planning to increase spending – which is now a factor in prices of a sizeable number of goods and services. Moreover, the coming months should bring an answer to the question regarding the extent to which these optimistic prognoses will translate to a tangible improvement of the condition of Polish consumers.
Łukasz Kozłowski, economic expert of Employers of Poland