More than three quarters of Portuguese people say they are pessimistic about the economy in the health crisis and, therefore, big decisions, such as changing jobs, getting married, having children and buying a house or car are out of their plans for 2021, a study reveals.
Prepared by the Higher Institute of Administration and Management (ISAG – European Business School) and by the Research Center for Business Sciences and Tourism of the Consuelo Vieira da Costa Foundation (CICET-FCVC), the study “Lifestyle and Investment Decisions of Portuguese Families in 2021 “sought to” understand what the main expectations of Portuguese families for 2021, in the adverse 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 evolution of the Portuguese economy, the work showed that “this will be a year of stagnation with regard to major changes in life and investments”.
“From the outset, a change of job will be out of the plans for 77.9% of respondents, and 84.7% 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 happen, in 2021, for 94.1% of the interviewees who already have them and for 89.8% of those who do not have children ”, 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, among those who already have it, 91% will not make a new purchase ; with regard to the car, 85% said they did not intend to make a first purchase in 2021 and 94.2% of those who already have their own vehicle said they did not want to invest again.
In 2021, 71.3% of the total respondents also showed no interest in investing in financial securities, and for the 28.7% who admit to doing so, stable financial instruments (such as Treasury certificates) will be the options most sought after, especially by older generations (the so-called baby boomers, from 61 to 78 years old, and generation X, from 40 to 60 years old).
Although 2021 is a year in which few plan to make investments, the study reveals that, 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 more than 61 thousand euros) and when buying a car (more than 39 thousand euros). In the purchase of housing, generation X will spend more, with an average investment of more than 482 thousand euros.
The study’s conclusions also point out that “the Portuguese prospects for 2021 will have been impacted by the increase in their financial discomfort”: 19.6% of the interviewees admitted that their financial situation was uncomfortable or very uncomfortable, when, before the pandemic, only 7.3% indicated it.
Likewise, there was a decrease from 66.6% to 52% in the interviewees who said they were comfortable or very comfortable with their finances.
As a justification for the lower propensity of the Portuguese to take risks in relation 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 health consequences.
The work of ISAG-EBS and CICET-FCVC highlights, in particular, the so-called generation of millennials (18 to 39 years old), concluding that, “contrary to the growing trend, it shows that it is currently abandoning the labor mobility that characterizes ”.
“If we compare it to other generations, millennials will continue to be the most available to change jobs. However, only 31.6% admitted to doing so in 2021, a very low value when we think that the frequent exchange of jobs, with the search for new challenges and opportunities, is characteristic of this generation ”, explain the scientific coordinators of CICET- FCVC and ISAG – European Business School teachers Ana Pinto Borges and Elvira Vieira, cited in a statement.
The researchers also note that “85.9% of those who said they want to change jobs will look for work for others, devaluing the creation of businesses and entrepreneurship that have been growing, in recent years, among millennials”.
According to the study, the risk in relation to work is shifting, in the case of millennials, to financial investments. “Although only 32% of millennials want to invest in the financial area in 2021, this is the generation that most admitted to doing it in risky products like cryptocurrencies ”, highlighted the researchers.
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.