According to a recent study by EOS and Dynata, every seventh Czech has been in debt recently, primarily due to energy or food expenses. Europeans have taken on debt more frequently in the past six months than Czechs. Every fifth European and every seventh Czech borrowed money for energy, food, or travel expenses. Payments for energy, water, or rent are the highest priority for Czechs.
The study focused on whether Europeans are experiencing financial difficulties and how consumption habits and the financial situation of survey participants from 13 European countries were affected in the past six months.
One-fourth of Europeans incurred debt in the past six months due to increasing expenses for heat and energy. Eastern Europeans had to borrow more frequently to cover these costs than their counterparts in Western Europe. In Western Europe, Germans (24 percent) borrowed the most for energy expenses.
Every third Czech cited energy as the primary reason for taking on debt. Other expenses that people incurred debt for more often included food and healthcare costs. Eastern Europeans were more likely to borrow money for these expenses. Over a quarter (26 percent) of Czechs financed their food expenses through borrowing.
In contrast to other countries, food was even the second most frequent item, leading to new debts for Czechs. Only Germans (27 percent) in Western Europe also had such high levels of debt due to food expenses, so we significantly surpassed the average levels of indebtedness for food expenses in Eastern (20 percent) and Western (16 percent) Europe, according to the study’s findings.
More than one-tenth of Europeans borrowed money for travel. However, people in Western Europe paid their travel expenses with loans much more frequently than their Eastern European counterparts.
“Czechs are very price-oriented, with 63 percent of us considering prices even in daily shopping. Along with Hungarians and Romanians, we are far above average. However, we excel absolutely in discounts. As the survey confirmed, almost six out of ten Czechs shop for discounts, a European rarity. In the past six months, Czech consumers have also reduced their spending the most – 40 percent of respondents stated that they are buying less,” said Vladimir Vachel of EOS KSI, s.r.o.
The study shows that Czechs and Europeans, in general, have been saving money and sacrificing things over the past six months. From the list of planned expenditures, people had to give up items such as travel, entertainment, and new clothes. People have also reduced daily expenses, with over half of Czechs buying food mainly on sale.