Friday 9 December 2022

Consumer uncertainty remains, but there is a little less pessimism

2019 has been a particularly pessimistic year.

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9 December 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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Currently, 6.5% of Costa Ricans say that the Government is doing a good job, 21.0% say that what is necessary and 71.0% that poor work is being done.

Consumer confidence improved significantly between September and November, but despite this, a significant degree of uncertainty remains.

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2019 has been a particularly pessimistic year.

The Índice de Confianza del Consumidor (ICC) – Consumer Confidence Index – Confianza del Consumidor – was 32.3 points in November, 3.7 points more than in August. Improvement remains insufficient to eliminate pessimism.

For every optimistic consumer, there are 3.7 pessimists. Three months ago there were 6.1 pessimists, according to the ICC, calculated by the School of Statistics of the University of Costa Rica (UCR).

The ICC survey also incorporates questions about the current economic conditions and the economic future of the country.

The portion of consumers who perceive a worse economic condition than a year ago did not change in recent months. However, the number of buyers that considers it to be a bad time to buy household items decreased from 73.7% to 66.8%.

Where there is no significant improvement, it is still in the population that values the option of buying a house or a car.

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72.7% consider that it is not a good time to buy a house, and 79.8% think the same in the case of the vehicle.

What did change is that pessimistic figures stopped growing.

Regarding the future, 38.3% of respondents believe that their family member’s economic situation will be worse within a year (44.2% three months ago).

The expectation of rising interest rates went from 80.3% to 59.4% in the last year. “This fact coincides with the decrease in interest rates that banks are promoting as part of the strategies to revive the economy,” says the ICC report.

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Another of the perspectives that improved is that of family income and the expectation that it will grow more than prices.

Expectations about the personal economic situation are now more positive in terms of interest rates, family income and purchasing capacity, the report explained.

What will prevent the building more confidence?

One of them is the negating rating of economic and social policy. 71.0% say that in the field of economic policy, poor work is being done by the government of Carlos Alvarado and around 70% expect increases in unemployment and poverty.

An additional element is the assessment of the moment to buy durable goods, ie a car or a house. Although the pessimists stopped growing, they are still by far the majority.

Also, 66.1% expect unemployment to increase in the next 12 months.

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