27% of Europeans describe their financial position as “precarious”, defined as “one unexpected expenditure could change everything
More than half see a serious risk it will become so over the coming months. They said they felt they faced a very or somewhat significant risk of falling into precariousness over the coming months – with one in five (17%) assessing the possibility as very high. Italians and Greeks were the most worried, with 70% and 68% respectively very or somewhat concerned. About 47% of respondents in Britain said they felt the risk of precariousness was significant, and 42% of those in France.
80% of respondents said they had already been forced to make significant compromises, including cutting down on travel (62%) or heating (47%), borrowing from friends or family (42%), finding a second job (40%) and skipping a meal (29%).
More than half (54%) of more than 6,000 people across France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and the UK told the pollster Ipsos their purchasing power had fallen over the past three years – mostly due to higher food, fuel, heating and rent bills.
In Greece, 68% of respondents said their spending power had fallen “a lot” or “somewhat” since 2019, followed by 63% in France, 57% in Italy, 54% in Germany, 48% in Britain and 38% in Poland.
Across the six countries, 64% said they were now “often” or “sometimes” unable to decide what to cut next as they had already cut what they could, 28% said they were overdrawn by mid-month, and 27% often or sometimes feared losing their home.
72% of parents across the six countries said they had cut back on their own leisure activities (76%), hair and beauty treatments (72%) and clothes budget (72%) in order to preserve their children’s quality of life. Almost half of parents across the six countries also said they regularly cut back on their own food to feed their children, while 66% said they had been forced to rein in their children’s activities, including outings and holidays.
49% – including 50% in the UK – of parents said they were worried about not being able to meet their children’s needs in future, while 33% said they were already unable to ensure their children’s diet was as varied as they would like.