In the context of the economic slowdown that Costa Rica suffered for much of last year, 40% of families restricted their purchases of clothing and footwear.

One-third of households reduced their spending on meals outside the home, and in the area of other recreation or entertainment expenses, 29% of households consulted said that during 2019 they restricted their spending, details the “Encuesta Actualidades 2019” (2019 News Survey), prepared by the University of Costa Rica (UCR).

The report states that “… It is estimated that in 2019, the number of restricted expenditure items is, on average, 5 (out of a total of 10 expenditure items) and a classification according to the number of restricted expenditure items shows that while 29.7% of households made few or no restrictions on their expenditure (1.8 on average), 33% made a high number (8 expenditure items on average). As expected, households with few restrictions are in a more favorable economic situation (36.3% can save), while those that reported a high number of restrictions are in a less favorable situation (only 8.2% can save).

In general, the results show that people are moderately aware of the measures the government is taking to overcome the economic crisis and that there is a more pessimistic than optimistic view of the impact they will have. This year, the spending items that were most affected in households were the purchase of clothes, shoes, meals outside the home and other recreational or entertainment expenses. In addition, as an alternative strategy to face the economic crisis, in half of the country’s households at least one member has sought new ways to generate income.”

The results of this survey were compiled in the midst of a timid recovery of the economy, since in June 2019 the Monthly Index of Economic Activity (IMAE) began to show signs of recovery, behavior that has been maintained until October of last year.