40% of people globally are bracing for a fall in disposable income

Fallout of Russia's invasion of Ukraine seen as the second-largest cause of cost increases, survey reveals

40% of people globally are bracing for a fall in disposable income

The public expects recent cost of living challenges to continue in many markets, according to recent Ipsos research conducted across 28 nations.

Forty percent of people worldwide, on average, believe their disposable income will decrease during the upcoming year. This is higher than the percentage of people who anticipate a rise (22%) or a maintenance of their disposable income (31%).

The highest rates of income decline expectations are in Turkey (58%), France (55%) Great Britain (54%) and Hungary (50%) where at least half predict that income declines would occur.

India (48%), Saudi Arabia (42%), and South Africa (40%) showed the greatest optimism about their disposable income increasing, though in all three of these nations the sample represents a more affluent portion of society.

According to the study, people who live in Latin America are more likely to report having a difficult time affording basic necessities.

In all 28 countries, 29% of people say it is difficult to make ends meet, and almost the same percentage say they are barely scraping by (30%). Two thirds (66%) of Argentineans say they struggle to get by, making them the group most likely to be in this situation.

Turkey, where annual inflation recently hit 80%, is not far behind with 64% of individuals experiencing financial difficulties, but the remaining top five nations are all from Latin America: 51% in Chile, 49% in Brazil, and 48% in Peru.

The worldwide population, including 28% of Chinese residents and 27% of Swedes, feel they are living well at the other end of the spectrum.

Concern about price increases for products and services in the next six months is shared by three quarters of the global population (77%), which include 91% of Hungarians, 88% of South Africans, and 86% of Argentines. Forty-five per cent of respondents said this is a concern in the next six months, even in China where the fear is lowest.

Among other major public concerns, 56% are worried about their ability to pay their energy expenses, and 54% are concerned about their capacity to continue purchasing the things they are accustomed to.

Most people anticipate that prices will continue to climb during the next six months. Three-quarters of people expect that food prices will increase; a comparable percentage anticipate an increase in gas and electricity prices. Another 71% of people foresee rising gas prices for cars

Focusing on people’s potential responses to rising costs, the survey found a persistent focus on cutting discretionary spending. Fewer respondents cited changes in behaviour, including using less energy or driving less to save on gas (both cited by 29% of participants). Across the countries surveyed, only 12% said they’d find higher-paying work.

Globally, 76% of all respondents see the state of the global economy as the main driver of inflation, followed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (72%), which was more likely to be identified by those in European countries. In Asian countries, COVID-19 is considered the biggest contributor to rising costs.

In Turkey, cost increases were blamed mainly on immigration, followed by interest rates and government policies.