Fear of inflation among Czechs is growing

The impact of inflation on family finances is putting wrinkles on the foreheads of an increasing number of Czechs. In the last six months, the number of such concerns has increased by a tenth, and almost half of the people are worried about their finances because of this growth.

Last year was not easy for Czech households. Three-fifths of Czechs surveyed by Ipsos for Generali Investments CEE found it challenging to cope with rising energy, food, and other prices that were eating into their finances. Only one in eleven got through the year without any problems in terms of finances.

The Czechs do not even expect this year to be better. Seven out of ten respondents expect to be worse off this year than in 2022 due to rising inflation.

And the impact of rising inflation on family finances is what the Czechs are most worried about at the moment. Their share has increased by almost a tenth in the last six months. While less than two-fifths of people were nervous about inflation in the middle of the previous year, now it is almost half.

On the other hand, the number of people worried about their finances because of rising energy prices is falling. Compared to August last year, when the number was at its highest (45 percent in total), two-fifths of those surveyed in October 2022 and “only” three in ten people in the latest survey wave in February 2023 expressed concern.

“As we have already seen, the situation around energy prices is beginning to calm down. The falling gas price on the world markets and the government’s price cap are leading to a decline in public concerns,” added Radomír Jáč, chief economist at Generali Investments CEE.

“This will be the year when Czechs were most worried about their finances because of the war in Ukraine. Year-on-year, however, fears of war have fallen by almost 24 percent. This is even though its effects have been felt in energy prices and not only there.

By contrast, the COVID pandemic is no longer an issue. At the beginning of last year, 4.4 percent of respondents feared the pandemic’s impact on their wallets. In the fourth quarter of 2022, it was 1.4 percent, and now it is only a mere one percent of respondents,” Marek Beneš, CFO of Generali Investments CEE, outlined other Czechs’ concerns documented by the survey results.

Czechs are saving on energy and food

The Czechs are understandably looking for savings wherever they can. The survey showed that they are trying to reduce energy or water consumption most often, which was confirmed by seven out of ten respondents. More than three-fifths are saving on food.

There has also been an increase in people reducing or canceling subscriptions to streaming services or magazines. Whereas last summer and autumn, the figure was 16 percent, it is now 19 percent.

The trend of cutting back on restaurant visits also continues, with around half Czechs mentioning this. And while the Czechs were still clear in the summer and refused to save money on children, eight out of a hundred respondents have already held cash on them since the fall.