Consumer Attitudes Survey 2014 Report

749 views

Published on

CAS is a survey that asks people for their views on saving, financial planning and their priorities. We’ve carried it out in our markets since 2004 and over these last ten years we’ve surveyed almost a quarter of a million people. We currently ask 11,000 people three times a year and in our most recent survey (November 2013), we asked people for their views from eleven countries: UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy, France, Poland, China, India, Turkey, Singapore and Indonesia.

Published in: Economy & Finance
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
749
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
9
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
12
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Consumer Attitudes Survey 2014 Report

  1. 1. Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 2014
  2. 2. Contents 1. Foreword by Amanda Mackenzie OBE, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Aviva (p3) 2. Executive summary (p4) 3. A look back over a decade (p6) 4. CAS 2014: Trends across Europe (p7) 5. CAS 2014: Member state focus (p14) 6. Methodology (p26) A. Consumer confidence (p7) l France (p14) B. Financial resilience (p9) l Ireland (p16) C. Savings holding and intention (p11) l Italy (p18) l Spain (p22) D. Attitudes to retirement (p12) l Poland (p20) l UK (p24) Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 2 The content of this survey is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely and you should obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this survey.
  3. 3. 1.Foreword Amanda Mackenzie Aviva Group Executive member responsible for customers At the heart of our business we have 34 million customers. Our purpose is to manage risk so that our customers can live their lives with confidence. Insurance offers great social value. We live in a world of continual change and complexity, and insurance and savings are vital ways to help people deal with this uncertainty. Ten years of research We need to understand our customers’ needs, wants and circumstances in order to provide the services that they will find most useful. Understanding the needs of our customers, from a range of demographics and countries, is no small task and is something we take very seriously. We conduct a range of consumer research, such as our 2010 Mind the Gap report which quantified the difference between the pension European citizens need for an adequate standard of living in retirement and the pension they can currently expect. Our 2012 report Tackling the Savings Gap built on this and sought out ways to engage and empower consumers on pension saving. One of our most valuable forms of customer insight is our Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey (CAS). CAS is a survey that asks people for their views on saving, financial planning and their financial priorities and has been regularly carried out in our key markets since 2004. Now CAS covers 11,000 people globally three times a year. Over the last ten years we have surveyed 260,000 people. In this report we first look back to the world in 2004 to offer a comparison with the world today. We then present the most recent results in Aviva’s six largest European Union markets: France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK (the ‘EU6’), the population of which comprises over half of the EU28 total. One of the advantages of running a global survey is that it allows comparisons between different parts of the world. CAS shows that consumers in Asia* are much more confident than Europeans about their financial future, have more investments and are much more likely to save. Pressures on budgets but long-term saving still valued Two trends come out clearly from the most recent CAS data. First, since the financial crisis the pressures on household budgets have become stronger and affected more families. This has fed through into cut backs in spending and saving. At the same time however, it reveals consumers’ underlying belief that long-term saving is a good thing as many safeguard it wherever possible. Developing solutions together It’s not just companies that need to understand their customers. We hope this report will also provide policy makers with greater insight into the behaviours and attitudes of EU citizens when it comes to money and saving. We want to generate a debate about what this means for future policies and products and ways in which people can be encouraged to save and protect themselves from financial shocks. Consumers, financial services providers, Member States and European institutions all have a responsibility in this regard. I hope that you find this report interesting and thought-provoking. Please do get in touch with us if you would like to find out more about any of our research. Amanda Mackenzie OBE Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Aviva The Aviva Family Finances Report 3 * Asian countries surveyed: China, India, Indonesia and Singapore.
  4. 4. The latest wave of the Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey (CAS), conducted in November 2013, illustrated some long-standing trends, but also highlighted some interesting changes that we witnessed in Europe in the second half of 2013. Comparison with 2004 CAS started in 2004 and has consistently examined certain themes: consumers’ attitudes to savings, financial confidence, retirement plans and financial resilience. The main findings of CAS in 2004-08 were: l People’s outlook was becoming increasingly short term. l There were high levels of anxiety about having insufficient savings in retirement. l There was risk aversion in terms of personal saving. As the latest results show, it appears as if the trends we identified in 2004-08 have now become even stronger. For example, previous research indicated that there was widespread anxiety about having an insufficient income in retirement. The latest CAS data suggests that, in response, people are increasingly opting to work past the normal retirement age. Consumer confidence On balance, European consumers are still negative about the prospects of their household finances and their countries’ economies over the next 12 months. However, the latest survey shows that – whilst still low – confidence in the general economy and household finances is improving. In many countries and the EU6 as a whole it is at the highest level since 2010. This may be because of the nascent economic recovery seen in some EU Member States. Overall, almost 40% of consumers said they are ‘living comfortably’ or ‘doing alright’ and another 40% are ‘just about getting by’, while 20% say they are finding it ‘quite or very difficult’. Financial resilience CAS indicates that the two primary financial concerns for Europeans are unexpected expenses such as home repairs and significant increases in the price of basic necessities for living such as food. High levels of concern about day to day expenses appear to be having an impact on consumer spending. In November 2013 over half of Europeans said they were cutting back on discretionary spending such as eating out in restaurants and holidays. Many European citizens remain vulnerable to financial shocks: 28% say they have not made any financial preparations for the future. Savings Savings behaviour has remained fairly stable in the six EU countries over the last three years. Two-thirds of consumers have savings accounts, a third have pensions (excluding state pensions) and one in five have some form of investment. Consumers plan to maintain their saving and investment levels and trim their rate of pension saving. Worryingly, a third of consumers (33%) say they do not have a savings product. Attitudes to retirement There remains a high level of concern about funding retirement, with 58% of consumers worried they will not have enough money to provide an adequate standard of living. Our survey is showing that half of consumers now say that they are likely to have to work past the usual retirement age. 2.Executive summary Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 4 “Confidence in the general economy and household finances is improving. In many countries and the EU6 as a whole it is at the highest level since 2010.” “In November 2013 over half of Europeans said they were cutting back on discretionary spending.” “A third of consumers say they do not have a savings product.” “Half of consumers now say that they are likely to have to work past the usual retirement age.”
  5. 5. The table below gives an indication of the financial stress or confidence people are feeling across these four themes. The shading indicates those figures which are significantly different to the EU6 average. Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 5 How do you expect the financial position of your household to develop over the next 12 months? (Consumers saying ‘Get Better’ minus those saying ‘Get Worse’) All who agree: ‘I haven’t cut back on discretionary spending’ Do you - either yourself or jointly - have a savings product? All who agree: ‘I am worried I won’t have enough money when I retire to provide an adequate standard of living’ How do you expect the economic situation in your country to develop over the next 12 months? (Consumers saying ‘Get Better’ minus those saying ‘Get Worse’) All who agree: ‘I have not made any financial preparations for the future’ Do you plan on putting more or less money into savings in the next 12 months? (Consumers stating they are ‘likely to put more money in’ minus those ‘likely to put in less money or stop’) All who agree: ‘I think I am going to have to work beyond retirement’ EU6 average UKIrelandFranceSpainItalyPoland -12% -24% 18% 67%28% 2% 49%58% -11% -7% 29% 72%21% 10% 49%55% -7% -4% 13% 75%20% 13% 49%56% -24% -54% 19% 80%28% -1% 55%58% 3% -4% 20% 62%30% -1% 47%60% -25% -42% 12% 50%37% -18% 32%56% -5% -33% 14% 62%30% 2% 36%65% Net consumer confidence Financial Resilience Savings Attitudes to retirement
  6. 6. Our CAS research has consistently examined certain themes: consumer confidence, financial resilience, savings and attitudes to retirement. Whilst the style and wording of the questions have evolved, they still enable broad comparison between then and now. CAS 2004-2008 The world in 2014 is very different from the world in 2004. We have had a financial crisis, a long-standing recession and, in Europe, stresses on monetary union. The effects of rises in unemployment and private debt are clearly manifested in our CAS research. One of the strong trends leading up to the crisis, which could be viewed as a contributing factor, was increasing levels of private debt and a ‘living for today’ attitude. This fed through into some anxiety that households were not saving enough for retirement. Key findings from the early years of CAS for the six EU countries are: Savings High levels of anxiety about retirement – in 2008 62% of people surveyed were worried that they wouldn’t have enough money when they retire to provide an adequate standard of living. This was similar to the 58% of people in the EU who were concerned in the latest survey. The barriers to saving were many and varied – but the two most commonly cited in 2004-08 relate to insufficient funds and existing debts or loans. Taking a short-term approach was on the increase around the world – the percentage of UK savers who said that the short-term was the most important timeframe when thinking about saving was 66% in 2008 (up 8% since 2004) and this reached 74% in France (up 7% since 2004). Easy access to savings was important – more than half of those surveyed (52%) in 2008 said that they preferred to feel that their money was easily accessible rather than committed for the long term. This proportion is now at 54%, perhaps explaining why in the EU6 67% of people have cash savings but only 22% have investments. Risk and debt In the EU6, two-thirds of people (65%) in 2008 felt that life had become more risky than it used to be. This has edged up to 68% in 2013. Overall, many people felt vulnerable – in 2008, in the EU6, a quarter of people (24%) believed they were financially prepared to cope with the unexpected. This figure has remained stable and is now 25%. Retirement In 2008 only 43% of those surveyed in the EU6 said they were taking steps to ensure they have an adequate level of income in retirement. This proportion has deteriorated and now stands at 38%. People were heavily reliant on housing assets to support their retirement income – in 2004-08 the majority of people (55%) still saw their homes as providing the most significant part of their total future financial security. There was already an acceptance of the need to work later – in Europe, 48% of pre-retired people expected that they might have to work beyond their normal retirement age to fund their retirement in 2008 and 49% expected this in 2013. This suggests that retiring later had already come to be seen as a necessary way of mitigating or avoiding financial difficulties in retirement. The main findings of CAS in 2004-08 were: l People’s outlook was becoming increasingly short term. l There were high levels of anxiety about having insufficient savings in retirement. l There was risk aversion in terms of personal saving. As the latest results show, it appears as if the trends we identified in 2004-08 have now become even stronger. 3.A look back over a decade Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 6
  7. 7. This section analyses the four key themes of consumer confidence, financial resilience, savings and retirement across the 6 EU Member States surveyed. A. Consumer confidence On balance, consumers are negative about their own financial prospects. They are most likely to feel that their finances will stay the same over the next twelve months (47%), and they are also more likely to feel that their situation will deteriorate (29%) than improve (17%). There are some strong differences between countries through: Spain has a net household confidence score of 3% while Italy has a score of -25%. Consumers are also negative about the economic prospects of their country. However, levels of negativity are gradually decreasing. Continuing the gradual upward trend seen since the start of 2013, net economic optimism has risen from -30% to -24% overall. This is due to an increase in consumers saying the economy will ‘get better’ over the next year (15% to 17%), and a decrease in those saying it will get worse (45% to 41%). These confidence levels are very low compared with the average in the Asian countries (China, India, Singapore and Indonesia) we surveyed. In Asia net confidence in improvements in household finances is 17% and confidence in the general economic situation is 38%. Consumers’ view of how they expect the general economic situation in their country, and the financial position of their household, to develop over the next 12 months is broadly correlated. CAS is starting to show that confidence is returning and, in many countries, is at the highest level for three years. It seems as if economic confidence is growing slightly faster than confidence in household finances. There are stark differences between countries though. Countries driving this up-tick in economic optimism are UK, Spain, and Ireland, whilst Italy and France remain very negative. Net consumer confidence 4.Trends across Europe Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 7 10% 0% -10% -20% -30% -40% -50% -60% Confidence in general economic situation Confidence in household finances Ireland Spain UK Poland Italy France “Confidence in the general economy and household finances is negative but improving”
  8. 8. Nov-13 10% 0% -10% -20% -30% -40% -50% -60% Net general economic confidence Net household confidence Feb-10 Jun-10 Nov-10 Feb-11 Jun-11 Nov-11 Feb-12 Jun-12 Nov-12 Feb-13 Jun-13 Ireland 10% 0% -10% -20% -30% -40% -50% -60% Net general economic confidence Net household confidence Feb-10 Jun-10 Nov-10 Feb-11 Jun-11 Nov-11 Feb-12 Jun-12 Nov-12 Feb-13 Jun-13 Nov-13 Italy Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 8 * On 14 November 2013 the Irish Ministry of Finance said “following a careful and thorough assessment of all of the available options... the Irish government has today decided that Ireland will exit the EU/IMF programme in December 2013 as planned and without a pre-arranged precautionary credit facility.” The consumer confidence indices for Italy and Ireland indicate the differences between countries. Whereas in Ireland confidence is definitely on the up, in Italy it continues its downward trend. This may be because, in Ireland, consumers are buoyed by improving economic data and news that Ireland has exited the Troika (IMF / EU) programme.*
  9. 9. Consumers’ view of their current financial situation has remained stable since June 2013. There is a tendency for consumers to feel they are ‘doing alright’ (32%) or ‘just about getting by’ (40%), although one in five (20%) European consumers say they are finding it difficult to cope financially. How well would you say you yourself are managing these days? B. Financial resilience When thinking about their finances, the top concerns for Europeans are: l Unexpected expenses such as car cost and home repairs (57%). l Significant increases in the price of the basic necessities for living such as food and utilities (52%). l Serious illness (47%). l Losing their jobs (38%). l Having insufficient money for retirement (33%). These are all areas where we know that savings and insurance can be useful ways for consumers to protect themselves from these risks. There are also generational differences in the results across Europe. Respondents over 55 are more likely to be concerned about lower savings rates (25%) and a decline in the value of their assets (27%). 18-24 year olds are more likely to be concerned about paying for education (32%) and continued unemployment (28%). This is perhaps unsurprising when Eurostat figures show that the EU youth unemployment rate of 24% is double the average unemployment rate of 11%.* High levels of concern about day to day expenses appear to be having an impact on consumer spending. In Autumn 2013 over half of Europeans said they were cutting back on discretionary spending such as: * Source: Eurostat, November 2013 data http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu Eating out in restaurants Holidays Clothing Entertainment recreation 62% 57% 53% 53% Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 9 Where results do not sum to 100, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don’t know categories. UK Spain 51% 45% 34% 39% 14% 16% Ireland Italy 43% 27% 35% 46% 21% 27% France Poland 45% 27% 39% 46% 17% 27% Doing alright or living comfortably Just about getting by Finding it very or quite difficult “28% of Europeans say they have not made any financial preparations for the future.”
  10. 10. The three areas that people are least likely to cut back on are: There are two main implications of these results. Firstly, the recession is having a material impact with majorities of people cutting back on every day expenditure such as entertainment. Families are indeed feeling the squeeze on their finances and are cutting spending. On the other hand, this shows that people say they are trying to maintain spending on the big things that matter like insurance, pensions and healthcare, which all help to reduce uncertainty in the future. Despite these high levels of concern about finances, and cutting back on discretionary spending, a significant number of consumers are not taking actions to safeguard themselves. In fact, almost three out of ten European consumers say that they have not made any financial preparation for the future. This is a disturbingly large proportion of people and indicates that at least a large minority of citizens in these European countries are vulnerable to continuing economic turmoil. This minority may be dependent on state support, which has implications for Member States’ public finances. In some countries vulnerability is particularly high: in Italy 37% of respondents said they had not taken action to prepare themselves for the future. This is despite Italian respondents being very pessimistic about future household finances. Those people in the EU6 that are taking action to prepare themselves for the future, are most likely to say they: l Are saving for hard times / a rainy day (34%). l Have life assurance (27%). l Have some form of savings or investment (25%). Which actions have you taken to prepare yourself for the future? Health (inc. medication) Home/motor/life insurance Their pension 18% 15% 9% Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 10 I have life insurance I am saving for a rainy day I have not made any financial preparations 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% UK21% UK34% UK29% Ireland20% Ireland36% Ireland33% France28% France37% France20% Spain30% Spain35% Spain25% Italy37% Italy33% Italy15% Poland30% Poland29% Poland40% Where results do not sum to 100, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don’t know categories.
  11. 11. C. Savings holding and intention Two-thirds of consumers in the six European countries surveyed have savings accounts. This proportion has proved stable and is exactly the same proportion that we found in 2010. We have also found similar proportions of people having pensions (excluding state pensions) (a third) and some form of investment (one in five). Rather worryingly, almost a quarter of consumers (23%) say they do not hold any form of savings or long-term investment product. This means there are significant numbers of financially-excluded individuals across the EU and has wider public policy implications. “A third of European consumers say they do not have a savings product” Overall future intentions to save in the EU6 remain stable, with consumers planning to maintain savings (net investment of 2%) and investment levels (net investment of -4%), and trim their rate of pensions saving (net investment of -11%)*. However, there are marked differences between EU countries. There is a wide gap between Irish households, where overall 13% more people say they will ‘save more’ than ‘save less’, and Italy, where 18% more people say they will ‘save less’ than ‘save more’. Again, there are significant differences between savings behaviour in Asia and Europe. On average, more of the Asian than European consumers we surveyed had savings products (88%) and investments (41%). Further, many more Asian consumers plan to put more into these products in the next 12 months. Net investment levels for savings and investments are 30% and 26% respectively. Do you plan on putting more or less money into savings in the next 12 months? Consumers stating they are ‘likely to put more money in’ minus those ‘likely to put in less money or stop’. Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 11 Ireland 13% France -1% UK 10% Spain -1% Poland 2% Italy -18% * Net investment is the proportion of consumers stating they are ‘likely to put more money in’ minus those ‘likely to put in less money or stop’.
  12. 12. D. Attitudes to retirement Aviva’s Mind the Gap (2010) research measured the difference between what pension provision people expect to have for an adequate standard of living in retirement* and the pension provision they are currently on track to receive. The difference between expectations and reality - what we termed the ‘pensions gap’ - stood at €1.9 trillion across the then 27 EU member states every year. “Half of European consumers now say that they are likely to have to work past the usual retirement age” There remains a high level of concern about funding retirement, with around three in five consumers worried they will not have enough money to provide an adequate standard of living. This is a significant proportion of people and indicates that most people recognise this is an issue they should deal with. However, they may not know how to tackle it or are unable to do so. In its 2012 White Paper, An Agenda for Adequate, Safe and Sustainable Pensions, the European Commission noted that demographic and social trends pose severe challenges towards the sustainability of pension systems. Indeed, it said that “Unless women and men, as they live longer, also stay longer in employment and save more for their retirement, the adequacy of pensions cannot be guaranteed.” From a consumer perspective, individuals face three main choices to fund a longer retirement: save more; be poorer in retirement or delay retirement. Our survey shows that many consumers are choosing the third option. In the latest wave of CAS almost half of consumers said that they are likely to have to work past the usual retirement age with the 25-44 year old age group the most likely to feel this way. Unfortunately it is this age group that is also least likely to want to work past the normal retirement age.1 It seems that as consumers approach retirement age they actually become more likely to want to work past retirement, with the 55+ age group being the most positive about continuing work. Overall though, desire to work past the usual retirement age is polarised, with 36% of consumers positive about the prospect, and 31% negative. Again however, there are striking differences between countries in terms of their concern about retirement and their wish to continue working into retirement. For instance, in Ireland 47% of people agree that “I would like to work after the usual retirement age” with 26% disagreeing. In France the proportions are almost the opposite. “I would like to work, either full time or part time, after the usual retirement age” Of course, the statement ‘I would like to work after the usual retirement age’ can be interpreted a number of ways. Some people will feel that they are forced to work longer to sustain their standard of living, whereas others may enjoy continuing to work for a while longer if they are able. * Based on an OECD benchmark replacement rate of 70% 1 Statutory retirement ages can be found in Section 6: methodology Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 12 Agree Disagree France Ireland 24% 47% 43% 26% Where results do not sum to 100, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don’t know categories.
  13. 13. This section analyses trends in each of the countries surveyed in more detail. France l France is the country most pessimistic about its economic prospects. 62% believe that the economy will get worse. l France has the highest proportion of consumers (37%) who say that they save for hard times. l France has the highest proportion of consumers (80%) who save in the EU6. l French consumers are the most opposed to working after the normal retirement age. Consumer confidence In France the largest proportions of consumers feel that they are either ‘doing alright’ (40%) or ‘just about getting by’ (39%). There has been a slight rise in the second half of 2013 in the proportion ‘finding it difficult’ to 17%. The net household financial outlook is stable and remains negative at -24%. Nearly half (46%) expect their financial situation to stay the same over the coming year, while one-third (35%) anticipate it will get worse. Just one in ten (11%) expect their household finances to improve over the next twelve months. General economic outlook among consumers in France is very negative, with net optimism at -54%. Nearly two-thirds (62%) anticipate that the economic situation in France will worsen over the next year, while fewer than one in ten (8%) expect it to improve. -54% is by far the most pessimistic result from the six European markets surveyed, where the net outlook, while remaining negative, has risen to -24% on average. Financial resilience When thinking about their finances, two-thirds of consumers in France (65%) worry about the impact of unexpected expenses such as car cost and home repairs, while over half (56%) are concerned about a sharp increase in the price of the basic necessities for living such as food and utilities. Reflective of these financial concerns, many consumers have cut back on discretionary spending in the second half of 2013. Over half of consumers in France say that they are cutting back on: French consumers are least likely to cut back on their home/motor/life insurance (10%). Despite high levels of concern about their finances, over one-quarter of consumers in France (28%) say they have not taken any steps to prepare financially for the future. A little over one-third have savings for hard times/a rainy day (37%), one-quarter (23%) have some form of savings/investments, and 17% have a savings account for their children. 5.Member state focus Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 14 Eating out in restaurants Holidays Clothing Entertainment recreation 62% EU 62% 56% EU 57% 55% EU 53% 55% EU 53%
  14. 14. Savings The large majority of French consumers (80%) have savings, which is the highest proportion of savers in the six European countries. One fifth (20%) hold investments, and two in five (42%) have a pension (excluding state pensions) (the highest proportion in Europe outside the UK). Our CAS data shows that consumers plan to maintain savings levels, and decrease investment levels and pension saving. % of respondents with savings products Retirement There is a high level of concern about funding retirement in France: over half of consumers worry that they will not have sufficient funds to provide an adequate standard of living when they retire (58%). Among those over 25 years old, this proportion rises to 64%. To account for this, the majority (55%) expect to work past the normal retirement age, with those aged 25-44 most likely to hold this attitude. This is actually the highest proportion out of the six European countries, which is in line with French consumers’ lack of confidence in the economy or their household finances. However, just one-quarter of all consumers in France (24%) would actually want to work past the normal retirement age. Overall, the desire to work past the usual retirement age is largely negative, with a larger proportion (43%) averse to this. France has the highest proportion of people that react negatively to the idea of working past retirement age than any other of the EU countries surveyed. Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 15 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 France 80% Ireland 75% UK 72% Poland 62% Spain 62% Italy 50%
  15. 15. Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 16 Ireland l Consumers in Ireland are, alongside Spain, the most optimistic in the EU6 with net economic confidence of -4%, compared to an average of -24%. l In every single spending category, a higher proportion of Irish consumers than the EU6 average said that they had cut back on spending. l Three-quarters of Irish consumers have savings, which is the highest rate recorded for Ireland since 2010. l Respondents from Ireland and Spain are most likely to agree with the statement that ‘I would like to work after the usual retirement age’. Consumer confidence Consumers’ opinion of their current financial situation has remained stable since June 2013: there is a tendency for consumers to feel that they are either ‘doing alright’ (33%) or ‘just about getting by’ (35%). One in five Irish consumers feels that they are finding it difficult to cope financially. Slightly under half of consumers in Ireland feel that their household financial situation will remain the same over the coming year (46%). A slightly higher proportion expect their finances to get worse (29%) than to improve (22%) in the next twelve months, though net optimism has risen since June 2013. There has been a positive movement in net economic outlook among Irish consumers, though overall this remains negative at -4% (compared to -18% in June 2013). One quarter (25%) expect the economic situation in Ireland to improve over the next twelve months, though a slightly higher proportion anticipate it will worsen (29%). Overall, consumers in Ireland and Spain are the most optimistic in the six European markets covered with net economic confidence of -4%, compared to an average of -24%. It may be that consumers in these counties feel that their economies are turning a corner and that a recovery is underway. Financial resilience When thinking about their finances, the three primary concerns for Irish consumers are: l The impact of unexpected expenses such as car cost and home repairs (63%). l Significant increases in the price of the basic necessities for living (52%). l Serious illness (46%). Despite the high proportion of consumers in Ireland who have concerns about their finances, one in five say that they have taken no steps to prepare financially for the future. Consumers are most likely to prepare themselves by saving for hard times/a rainy day (36%), having life insurance (33%) and having some form of savings or investment (31%).
  16. 16. Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 17 Interestingly, in every single spending category, a higher proportion of Irish consumers than the EU6 average said that they had cut back on spending. The proportion who said they had not cut back was very low at 13% (the European average is 18%). Have you cut back in spending on these items over the last 6 months? Savings Three-quarters of Irish consumers have savings, which is the highest rate we have recorded over the last three years. A little over one-third of consumers hold a pension (excluding state pension), and around one-quarter (23%) have some form of investment. Consumers plan to increase their savings level, maintain their investment level, and decrease their rate of pensions saving. Retirement More than half of Irish consumers are worried that they will not have enough money to provide an adequate standard of living when they retire (56%). To accommodate for this, almost half expect to work past the normal retirement age (49%), though one in five do not anticipate this will be necessary. A similar proportion says that they would like to work past the usual retirement age (47%), while a far lower proportion (26%) feel negatively about this prospect. Respondents from Ireland and Spain are most likely to agree with the statement that ‘I would like to work after the usual retirement age’. Eating out in restaurants Insurance Holidays DIY Clothing Heating Entertainment recreation Health Food and drink at home Ireland 69% EU 62% Ireland 19% EU 15% Ireland 61% EU 57% Ireland 41% EU 32% Ireland 61% EU 53% Ireland 41% EU 30% Ireland 59% EU 53% Ireland 27% EU 18% Ireland 45% EU 32%
  17. 17. Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 18 Italy l At -25%, net optimism about household finances over the next 12 months is the lowest in the EU6. l Italy has the highest proportion of consumers (37%) who say they have not made any financial preparation for the future. l Italy has the lowest proportion of savers in the EU6 (50%). l Over half of Italian respondents are worried that they will not have enough money to provide an adequate standard of living when they retire. Consumer confidence There is a tendency for consumers to feel that they are either ‘doing alright’ (19%) or ‘just about getting by’ (46%). Nearly three in ten (27%) Italian consumers say that they are finding it difficult to cope financially. Optimism over household finances over the next year remains negative on-balance. Consumers in Italy are more likely to feel that their finances will stay the same over the next twelve months (46%), and a greater proportion feel that their situation will worsen (35%) than improve (10%). There has been a slight downward movement in general economic outlook among consumers in Italy since June 2013: over half expect the country’s economic situation to worsen over the coming year (53%) while just one in ten (10%) expect it to improve. This runs against the trend averaged across the other European markets covered, among which net optimism has increased to -24% overall. This deepening pessimism is in marked contrast to countries such as Spain, UK and Ireland where pessimism is decreasing. At -25%, net optimism about household finances over the next 12 months is the lowest in the six EU countries. Financial resilience When thinking about their finances, the primary concerns for Italian consumers are: l The impact of unexpected expenses such as car cost and home repairs (58%). l Significant increases in the price of the basic necessities for living (48%). l Serious illness (47%). These concerns may be having an impact on consumer spending. In the last three months a large proportion of Italian consumers say they are cutting back on discretionary spending such as eating out in restaurants (64%), holidays (63%), or clothing (63%). The area consumers are least likely to cut back on is their pension contribution (7%). Despite the large proportion of customers reducing their discretionary spending and the high level of concern about finances, nearly two in five (37%) consumers in Italy have not taken any steps to prepare financially for the future. This seems surprising given the pessimism on future economic performance. Those who have taken steps are most likely to say they are saving for hard times/a rainy day (33%) or have some form of savings or investments (20%). Eating out in restaurants Holidays Clothing 64% EU 62% 63% EU 57% 63% EU 53%
  18. 18. Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 19 I have not made any financial preparations for the future Savings Half (50%) of Italian consumers have savings, one-quarter (26%) have some form of investment, and a little under one in five (17%) have a private pension. Future intentions to save have decreased among Italian consumers, who, on-balance, plan to decrease their savings (net investment of -18%) and investment levels (net investment of -2%) and their rate of pensions saving (net investment of -17%), perhaps in response to coping with everyday pressures. Italy has the lowest proportion of savers in the six European countries surveyed. Whilst half of Italians have savings, the average proportion in the EU6 is two-thirds (67%). The proportion used to be higher (60% in February 2010), but fell during the recession and has not recovered. Retirement There are high levels of concern about funding retirement: over half of respondents are worried that they will not have enough money to provide an adequate standard of living when they retire (56%). To account for this, nearly half expect that they will have to work beyond the normal retirement age (48%), though one in five (18%) do not anticipate this will be necessary. Attitudes toward working past the usual retirement age are polarised, with 32% of consumers positive about the prospect, and 30% negative. Ireland 20% UK 21% France 28% Spain 30% Poland 30% Italy 37% 40 30 20 10 0
  19. 19. Poland l Poland and Italy have the highest proportion of citizens (27%) who are finding it ‘quite difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ to manage financially. l 30% of consumers in Poland say that they have not taken any steps to prepare financially for the future. l Poland has the lowest proportion of consumers who say they have a pension plan (excluding state pension) (16%) or investments (18%). l 65% of Polish consumers feel that they will not have enough money to provide an adequate standard of living when they retire – the highest proportion in the EU6. Consumer confidence In terms of their current financial situation most consumers tend to feel that they are either ‘doing alright’ (25%) or ‘just about getting by’ (46%). Slightly more than one-quarter of consumers in Poland feel that they are currently finding it difficult to cope financially (27%). Net optimism over household finances has become slightly more positive since June, though on-balance remains negative at -5% (the highest since 2010). Consumers in Poland are most likely to expect their financial situation to remain the same over the next twelve months (41%), and are slightly more likely to expect their situation to deteriorate (27%) than to improve (21%). Net optimism on the economy was -33% in November 2013 (compared to -53% in November 2012), which is lower than the EU average of -24%. Polish consumers are most likely to expect their country’s economic situation to worsen over the next twelve months (47%), while a further third expect it to stay the same (33%). Financial resilience When thinking about their finances, the two primary concerns for Polish consumers are: l The impact of unexpected expenses such as car cost and home repairs (53%). l Significant increases in the price of the basic necessities such as food and utilities (53%). High levels of concern about finances may contribute to reductions in discretionary spending among Polish consumers. In the last three months, over half of consumers in Poland say that they are cutting back on: Despite these high levels of concerns about finances, three in ten consumers in Poland say that they have not taken any steps to prepare financially for the future (30%). For those who have, the most common steps taken are having life insurance (40%), saving for hard times/a rainy day (29%) and having a private/employer pension to which they are making contributions (16%). Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 20 Eating out in restaurants Holidays Entertainment recreation 63% EU 62% 57% EU 57% 54% EU 53%
  20. 20. Savings In Poland a little under two-thirds have savings (62%), around one in five have some form of investment (18%) and a slightly lower proportion have a private pension (16%). Consumers plan to maintain savings and investment levels and to maintain their rate of pensions saving. Poland is below the European average in terms of the proportion of citizens who have savings, investments and private pensions. Which of the following financial services products do you have? Retirement In Autumn 2013 nearly two-thirds (65%) of Polish consumers said that they will not have enough money to provide an adequate standard of living when they retire. This is the highest proportion in the European markets covered. Echoing this concern, nearly half anticipate that they will need to work beyond the usual retirement age (45%), though one in five (22%) do not anticipate this will be necessary. Attitudes to working beyond the normal retirement age are polarised, with similar proportions of Polish consumers feeling either positive (36%) or negative (34%) about this prospect. Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 21 InvestmentsSavings Pensions (exc state pensions) EU6 average Poland 67% 22% 33% 62% 18% 16%
  21. 21. Spain l Spain is the only country to have a net positive result on outlook for household finances. l Respondents from Spain and Ireland are most likely to agree with the statement that ‘I would like to work after the usual retirement age’. l Spain has the highest proportion of consumers (24%) who say they are likely to put more money into a private pension over the next 12 months. l Spain has the highest proportion of citizens (42%) who say they are concerned about loss/changes to the current benefit system. Consumer confidence Consumers tend to feel that they are either ‘doing alright (38%) or ‘just about getting by’ (39%). Slightly less than one in six Spanish consumers (16%) say they are finding it difficult to cope financially. This is in line with the other countries surveyed. Following the trend over the last twelve months, there is a slight upward movement in net optimism over household finances, which has become, on balance, positive. Spain is the only country to have a net positive result on household finances and is closely followed by Poland and Ireland. More than half of consumers feel that their finances will stay the same over the next year (56%), and a slightly higher proportion feel that their situation will improve (21%) than deteriorate (18%). Echoing this, there is also a positive movement to consumer expectations for the economic prospects of Spain, though this remains negative overall. A quarter of Spanish consumers anticipate that the country’s economic situation will worsen over the next twelve months, while one in five expect it to improve. If this trend continues then soon there will be more people who think that the economy will improve than think it will worsen for the first time in four years. How do you expect the general economic situation in the country to develop over the next 12 months? Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 22 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Get Better Stay the same Get worse Feb-10 Jun-10 Nov-10 Feb-11 Jun-11 Nov-11 Feb-12 Jun-12 Nov-12 Feb-13 Jun-13 Nov-13
  22. 22. Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 23 Financial resilience When thinking about their finances, the three primary concerns for consumers in Spain are: l Unexpected expenses e.g. the cost of car and home repairs (53%). l Serious illness (51%). l The price of basic necessities for living (48%). 45% are worried about redundancy and 42% about loss/changes to the current benefit system. The latter is very high compared to the European average of 24%, and may be the result of a public debate on the sustainability of the current system and elevated unemployment levels*. These financial concerns may impact on consumer spending: according to the latest survey data Spanish consumers say they have cut back on discretionary spending such as: Consumers are least likely to have cut back on: Despite the high levels of concern about finances and reduction in discretionary spending, one in three (30%) consumers in Spain say that they have not made any financial preparation for the future. Among those that have taken steps to prepare for the future, the most likely actions are saving for hard times/a rainy day (35%), holding life insurance (25%), and having some form of long-term savings or investment (23%). Savings In Spain three in five (62%) consumers have savings, one-quarter have a private pension (24%) and one in five have some form of investment (19%). Consumers plan to either maintain or slightly decrease savings, investment and rate of pensions saving over the coming year. Retirement Attitudes to retirement among consumers in Spain have not changed in 2013. Three in five (60%) of consumers are concerned that they will not have sufficient funds to provide an adequate standard of living following retirement. Reflective of this, almost half of consumers (47%) say that they are likely to have to work past the usual retirement age. However, a similar proportion (46%) would like to work past the usual retirement age, while a smaller proportion (25%) opposes this. Compared to the EU6 markets, this is a high proportion of people who are positive about working into retirement. Pension 9% EU 9% Health (inc. medication) 8% EU 18% Home/motor/life insurance 17% EU 15% Eating out in restaurants Holidays Entertainment recreation 60% EU 62% 57% EU 57% 50% EU 53% * Spanish unemployment reached 26.7% in November 2013. Source: Eurostat http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Unemployment_statistics
  23. 23. UK l In November 2013 respondents were more confident about the UK’s general economic prospects than their own households for the first time since February 2010. l The UK has the highest proportion of people in the EU6 (29%) to have not cut back on discretionary spending. l The UK has the highest proportion of individuals (52%) in the EU6 that have pensions (excluding state pensions). l One-third of respondents agree that they would like to work after the usual retirement age. Consumer Confidence UK consumers tend to feel that they are either ‘doing alright’ (39%) or ‘just about getting by’ (34%). A little over one in seven UK consumers (14%) feel that they are finding it difficult to cope financially, compared to 20% across the EU6. Net optimism over household finances over the coming year remained stable over 2013 and is on-balance negative at -11%. The largest proportion of UK consumers (49%) expect their household financial situation to ‘stay the same’ over the next year. A larger proportion expects their personal financial situation to ‘get worse’ (29%) than expect it to ‘get better’ (18%). General economic outlook among UK consumers has improved, though it remains negative with a net of -7% (compared to -20% in June 2013). The change is due to an increase in the proportion who expect the economic situation to ‘get better’ over the coming year to 25% (from 16%) while the proportion who expect it to ‘get worse’ decreased to 31% (from 36% in June). UK consumers are more positive about the domestic economy than the average across the EU6 (which have a net outlook of -24%). This graph shows that confidence in the state of the general economy and of the financial position of a person’s household over the next 12 months are broadly correlated. However, confidence in the broader economy is increasing at a faster rate than household finances. Notably, the November 2013 data showed that respondents were more confident about the UK’s general economic prospects than their own households for the first time since February 2010. Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 24 Nov-13 20% 10% 0% -10% -20% -30% -40% -50% -60% Net general economic confidence Net household confidence Feb-10 Jun-10 Nov-10 Feb-11 Jun-11 Nov-11 Feb-12 Jun-12 Nov-12 Feb-13 Jun-13
  24. 24. Financial resilience The main financial concerns for UK consumers are: l Significant increases to the price of basic necessities for living (55%). l Impact of unexpected expenses (51%). l Serious illness (38%). Financial concerns among UK consumers may be having an impact on consumer spending. Consumers say they have cut back their spending on: Interestingly, almost one-third (29%) have not cut back on discretionary spending – this is the highest rate in the six EU countries, where the average is for 18% of consumers to say that they have not cut back. UK consumers are least likely to have cut back their spending on insurance (9%) and health (including medication) (8%). Again, it seems that many consumers recognise the value of insurance and savings in times of financial stress. Despite the high level of concern about finances, one-fifth of UK consumers (21%) have not made any financial preparations for the future. Common steps consumers take to prepare financially for the future are: l Ownership of savings/investments (37%). l Having made a will (34%). l General ‘saving for a rainy day’ (34%). Savings The majority of UK consumers (72%) have savings, while slightly over half (52%) have pensions and one-quarter (27%) hold investments. Consumers broadly plan to increase savings levels, maintain investment levels, and decrease their rate of pensions saving. Retirement Over half (55%) of consumers are worried that they will not have enough money to provide an adequate standard of living when they retire. A similar proportion (49%) anticipate they will have to work beyond the normal retirement age in order to fund their retirement, with this attitude most prevalent among 25-34 year olds. One-third (33%) agree that they would like to work, either full-time or part-time, after the usual retirement age. Among consumers in the 55+ age group, half of consumers (51%) feel positive about working past the usual retirement age. Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 25 Clothing Holidays Entertainment recreation 46% EU 53% 46% EU 57% 44% EU 53%
  25. 25. In its latest form, Aviva’s Consumer Attitudes Survey has surveyed 11,000 people three times a year across Aviva’s key markets globally since 2010. Prior to that CAS was an annual survey. The survey is conducted amongst a nationally representative sample of adults (1,000 per wave in each country) aged 18+ and is conducted online. In China and India the survey uses an urban representative sample and is conducted online and face to face. In China 2,000 people are surveyed per wave. Since 2012, the survey has been conducted by IPSOS on Aviva’s behalf. The population covered by the November 2013 wave of CAS amounts to over half the population of the EU28.* National retirement ages are below: For more information on Aviva research please contact public.policy@aviva.com. 6.Methodology * Source: OECD http://www.oecd.org/els/emp/ageingandemploymentpolicies-statisticsonaverageeffectiveageofretirement.htm * Source: Eurostat, 1 January 2013. Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey 26 Ireland Italy Spain Poland France UK Men 66 Men 66 Men 65 Men 65 Men 65 Men 65 Women 66 Women 62 Women 65 Women 60 Women 65 Women 62 (From May 2014) Ireland Spain France Italy Poland UK 4.6 million 46.7 million 65.6 million 59.7 million 38.5 million 63.9 million EU6 Total 279 million EU28 Total 505 million
  26. 26. 106005432 02/2014 © Aviva plc

×