Christmas came and went… and moods seem to be sinking among Poles
Many of us see the turn of the year as a time of retrospection, new resolutions, getting together with our families for Christmas dinner, and… bigger spending. The tree, presents, festive meetings, travel, and seeing the old year out with a bang – all of these have become fixtures in our perception of the Christmas/New Year’s Day period. At the same time, it is a moment of the year when we often spend more than during the remaining months. In our hectic chase amidst store shelves, we tend to stretch our household budgets, only to think about our account balance with fear in the following days.
This year’s holiday spending proved particularly problematic, as another threat to the budgets of Polish households was looming on the horizon: the planned increase in electricity prices, scheduled for January 2019.The result of this increase would have been not only a higher energy bill for households, but also higher prices of all products and services. Therefore, the significant drop in consumer moods is clearly connected with the debate that was still going on in the lower house of the Polish Parliament at the time of writing of this report (30.11 – 11.12 – author’s note), concerning the possible solutions and the feared consequences that would have considerable impact on every Pole’s finances. Thankfully, just before Christmas, on the 20th of December, PM Mateusz Morawiecki announced that the increased cost of electricity would not be perceptible in 2019, neither to consumers, nor to businesses, therefore we were able to have a sigh of relief and enjoy Christmas in peace, without worrying about our finances more than we would have anyway.
In December 2018, the Consumer Index went into the negative range for the first time since March 2017. Is this a portent of a less favourable year to come, or simply a normal reaction to recent events? If you want to find out, be sure not to miss our subsequent TNS Consumer Index reports. All in all, we can be certain that 2019 is going to bring new opportunities and perspectives that might infuse some optimism into the Polish society, which is our sincere wish to all our readers!
Senior Research Executive