Panem et circenses
The recent months seemed like a rollercoaster tide – from euphoric states to disenchantment, with the TNS Consumer Index values shifting even by 50% mom. This shows how uncertain a considerable percentage of Poles feel, therefore it is difficult to predict what the months to come might bring (and we have to keep in mind that campaigns for the autumn elections are going to launch soon).
In July, the values dropped to 5.4 pts. yet again. The high increase from the previous month (10.0 percentage points) has disappeared without a trace, with the current result being the lowest since April this year. This decrease would have been even bigger if not for a substantial growth in Index values among consumers aged up to 24 (from 7.9 to 14.9) that coincides with the end of the school year.
Undoubtedly the turmoil involving politicians and judges connected with the proposed modifications to the Supreme Court Act have not helped the situation, not to mention farmers protesting low fruits and vegetables bulk purchase prices (the drop was the most significant among consumers from rural areas - from –4.8 to 5.1 points). However, July has also seen a major celebration in the football world, with not only devoted fans but also people generally not interested in this sport gathering round their TV sets. And, it finally happened… the Polish national team has not "disappointed” once again, and followed a scenario that we all know too well – first a game for “empty points”, then "all or nothing”, and then a final game to “save face”. However, the failure this year has been truly spectacular, and it is really difficult to find any kind words to say about the national team’s performance. This has likely made consumer moods even worse.
Let’s get back to the economy for a moment. Both views on the current economic situation and forecasts for the future have decreased ( --6 pp. and -3 pp. respectively). Despite assurances issued by the government and favourable data from the EU, Poles still don’t trust the reports, or simply fail to notice changes for the better themselves. Politics as recently seen in the media are all about a continuous conflict between the ruling coalition and the opposition, with subsequent groups being drawn into the quarrels as well – judges (the Supreme Court Act), women (abortion ban), - uniformed services (growing dissatisfaction with salaries) or teachers, physicians, and nurses (salaries again).
Evaluation of the status of households has decreased as well, reaching 15 points (the lowest outcome since March this year), with forecasts for personal finance dropping to 9 points (lowest since April). All of this results, among others, from the "conflicts at the top”, but also from the government’s fiscal policy – new fuel surcharges, weaker zloty (which is really visible in the vacation season), growing food prices, or further changes in the pension system.
All of this makes you want to say – enough with the games! We all deserve a peaceful vacation with pleasant weather. And let this be my wish for all of us!