After a few months of stagnation, the percentage of South Africans financially impacted by COVID-19 increased to 82%, despite most industries being fully operational. Millennials are the hardest hit at 86%, up 6 percentage points from November.
Only 12% of consumers indicate their household finances are as planned in 2020, while 69% say their finances are worse than planned (+4 pp).
Concern among impacted consumers about their ability to pay their bills and loans remains high at 84%. Credit products remain the bills and loans consumers most often indicate they will not be able to pay, with personal loans (37%), retail/clothing store account (32%) and credit card bills (32%) ranked in the top three.
To manage household finances in an uncertain environment, consumers are increasingly cutting back on saving for retirement (+4 pp to 26%), and many are using money from savings (35%) or borrowing from family and friends (25%) to increase their cash flow.
Overall, South Africans remain positive about the future: 68% of impacted consumers indicate they are optimistic, 13% neither optimistic nor pessimistic and 19% pessimistic about the future. Younger generations are more optimistic than older generations.