Inflation Forces Almost 90% of Brazilians to Modify Lifestyle, Survey Reveals

In 2021 the consumer price index rose 10.06%, above the target ceiling and market expectations

In addition to adopting new spending habits, 93% expressed concern about paying bills and loans in full.
February 18, 2022 | 11:59 PM

Bloomberg Línea — Inflation and the economic crisis resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic have impacted the finances of Brazilians and led many to change their consumption habits in recent months, according to a survey conducted by TransUnion, a global information and insights company.

The survey, ‘Consumer Pulse’, examined the fourth quarter of 2021 and found that more than eight out of 10 consumers (82%) expressed concern at the current rate of inflation, with 88% indicating that they were making changes in their purchasing behavior amid the new scenario.

In addition, the percentage of impacted consumers who indicated they would have to reduce unrestricted household spending in the last three months of 2021 increased to 75%, up from 67% in third quarter and from 64% in the first 2021 survey.

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In 2021, inflation measured by the national consumer price index rose to 10.06%, above the target ceiling and market expectations, while for 2022 economists’ estimates, according to the latest report from the Central Bank, are an increase of 5.50% in the consumer prices. But the projections increase with every week.

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Tightened Purse Strings

According to TransUnion’s survey, nearly half (48%) of participants said they were affected monetarily in the last quarter of 2021. Among them, 93% expressed concern about their ability to fully pay bills and loans, and 56% indicated that they would not be able to fully pay at least one of their current bills and loans.

According to the Consumer Pulse survey, there were signs of improvement in most social classes, but a significant percentage of consumers still face financial difficulties.

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  • In the lower-income family group, which the study considers as having a monthly income of less than 1,000 reais ($195), 69% indicated having been monetarily affected in the last quarter of 2021, compared to 72% and 75% in the third and first quarter of 2021, respectively.
  • In middle-income families, with a monthly income of between 1,000-5,000 reais ($195-$973), 53% indicated having had financial difficulties in the quarter, compared to 54% and 57% previously.
  • For upper-middle income families, with a monthly income between 5,000-10,000 reais ($973-$1,946), 32% reported having been impacted, against 38% in the third quarter and 35% in the first quarter of 2021.
  • For families with higher incomes, of above 10,000 reais ($1,946), 38% said they had felt a negative impact financially, in line with previous quarters.

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Methodology

The survey, conducted online between November 1-10, 2021, included the participation of 1,034 people over the age of 18 who live in Brazil.

The study was conducted by TransUnion in partnership with third-party research provider Qualtrics®️ Research-Services, and interviews were conducted using an online panel survey method, on a combination of computer, mobile and tablet devices.

Questions were asked in English and Portuguese, and all regions of Brazil were represented in the responses.

“To ensure the representativeness of the general population sample among the demographics of Brazilian residents, the survey included quotas to balance responses across the dimensions of age, gender, household income, race, and region,” TransUnion said in a statement.

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