More than three quarters of Portuguese say they are pessimistic about the economy in the health crisis and, as a result, big decisions, such as changing jobs, getting married, having children and buying a house or a car, are out of the question. of their plans for 2021, a study reveals.
Prepared by the Higher Institute of Administration and Management (ISAG – European Business School) and by the Center for Commercial Sciences and Tourism Research of the Consuelo Vieira da Costa Foundation (CICET-FCVC), the study “Decisions of lifestyle and investment of Portuguese families in 2021 “sought to” understand what were the main expectations of Portuguese families for 2021, in the unfavorable context brought by Covid-19 “, and also demonstrated that” the financial discomfort was aggravated by the pandemic “.
With 76.2% of respondents admitting to being pessimistic or very pessimistic about the development of the Portuguese economy, the work has shown that “it will be a year of stagnation when it comes to major changes in life and investments”.
“From the outset, a job change will not be expected for 77.9% of respondents, and 84.7% even indicated that they were not looking for a new job. In family decisions, getting married will not be an option for the majority and having children will not take place in 2021 for 94.1% of those interviewed who already have them and for 89.8% of those who do not. don’t have any, ”he concludes.
Similar values were found for investment decisions, such as buying a house or car: 82.8% of respondents who do not have permanent housing will not seek to buy it in 2021 and, of those who already have it, 91% will not make a new purchase; As regards the car, 85% say they do not intend to make a first purchase in 2021 and 94.2% of those who already own their own vehicle say they do not want to invest again.
In 2021, 71.3% of total respondents also showed no interest in investing in financial securities, and for the 28.7% who admit, stable financial instruments (such as treasury certificates) will be the most popular options, especially by older people. generations (the so-called baby boomers, aged 61 to 78, and Generation X, aged 40 to 60).
Although 2021 is a year in which few plan to invest, the study finds that by analyzing the propensity of different generations to do so, baby boomers will be available to spend more money on. both financial investments (an average of over 61 thousand euros) and when buying a car (over 39 thousand euros). In the purchase of housing, Generation X will spend more, with an average investment of more than 482 thousand euros.
The conclusions of the study also underline that “the Portuguese outlook for 2021 will have been impacted by the increase in their financial discomfort”: 19.6% of those questioned admitted that their financial situation was uncomfortable or very uncomfortable, while before the pandemic, only 7.3% indicated so.
Likewise, there was a decrease from 66.6% to 52% among those surveyed who reported being comfortable or very comfortable with their finances.
To justify the lower propensity of the Portuguese to take risks related to investments and major life decisions, the perception of Covid-19 emerged, which more than 85% of respondents classified as a dangerous disease with serious consequences for health .
The work of ISAG-EBS and CICET-FCVC highlights, in particular, the so-called Generation Y (18 to 39 years old), concluding that, “contrary to the growing trend, this shows that ‘ it is currently abandoning the characteristic mobility of the workforce ”.
“If we compare it to other generations, millennials will continue to be the most available to change jobs. However, only 31.6% admitted having done so in 2021, a very low figure when you consider that frequent job exchanges, along with the search for new challenges and opportunities, are characteristic of this generation ”, explain the coordinators scientists from CICET-FCVC and ISAG – teachers from the European Business School Ana Pinto Borges and Elvira Vieira, cited in a press release.
The researchers also note that “85.9% of those who said they wanted to change jobs will look for work for others, devaluing the creation of businesses and entrepreneurship which has multiplied in recent years among millennials” .
According to the study, work-related risk shifts, in the case of millennials, to financial investments. “If only 32% of millennials want to invest in the financial field in 2021, it is the generation that has admitted to doing so the most in risky products like cryptocurrencies,” the researchers said.
The survey was carried out between December 2020 and February 2021, using an online questionnaire, with a sample of 1,063 respondents residing in Portugal.