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CONSUMER TRENDS

Most South African consumers are very concerned about inflation

By our News Team | 2021

Latest Deloitte study finds a mixed bag of optimism and pessimism among South Africans. Grocery prices are particularly worrying.

The priorities of South African consumers are shifting, with more emphasis being placed on well-being, experiences and increased intentions to save more for the future.

This is according to latest State of the Consumer Tracker study released yesterday by international consulting firm Deloitte. It measured consumer sentiment across 23 countries during October this year.

Overall, consumers around the world are valuing time more than ever and want to balance lifestyle experiences with having material possessions.

South Africans, as usual, showed a mixture of optimism and pessimism. Rising prices are a particular concern, with a very significant 86% of people saying they are concerned about price inflation for common goods, nearly 20 points above the global average.

Consumer trends

Photo by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Grocery inflation is a particular concern

The largest concern is around groceries, where 78% of South Africans believe prices are higher compared to last month.

People are also concerned about their savings, with 79% of SA respondents mentioning this. Similarly, there has been a rise in the number of consumers who are delaying large purchases. Last year, 51% said they had done so. This year, the figure is 64%.

“Consumers are increasingly confident in the safety of various day-to-day activities, although we’re not seeing a rise in their spending priorities,” said Rodger George, Africa Consumer Industry Leader at Deloitte.

“The data also shows us that consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about rising prices and the context of the new Omicron variant. This puts a grey cloud over South Africans’ pent-up demand, desire to socialise, and to resume traditional spending habits during the Festive Season.”

When it comes to personal household finance, there’s a contrast in how South Africans feel now, versus their future prospects. South Africans are currently the fourth most financially anxious consumers of the markets surveyed, yet three in four respondents said they were optimistic about their long-term financial situation. This is far above the 49% global average for optimism.

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