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HomeEstoniaSurvey: 39 pct of Estonian residents satisfied with their financial situation

Survey: 39 pct of Estonian residents satisfied with their financial situation

Although the Estonian economy has been in decline for eight consecutive quarters, a financial security survey conducted by SEB reveals that 39 percent of the country’s residents are satisfied with their financial situation.

Almost as much of respondents — 38 percent — meanwhile said they were dissatisfied with their financial situation. Over the past 12 months, the financial situation of residents of Estonia has been most affected by rising prices for food and basic necessities, as well as higher electricity costs, SEB Estonia said.

The survey revealed that people whose net monthly salary is 1,500 or more are most satisfied with their financial situation.

“Sixty-three percent of residents of Estonia with a net income of more than 1,500 euros are satisfied with their financial situation. By contrast, dissatisfaction is higher among people earning less than 1,500 euros. People earning 750 euros or less rate their financial situation as the most difficult. Although only five percent of the survey participants said that their income was insufficient even to buy food, more than half of them, or 58 percent, had an income of up to 750 euros,” Evelin Koplimae, head of private customer segment at SEB Estonia, said.

The findings of the survey show that for 40 percent of Estonian residents their current income allows them to pay for both food and clothes and save a little, but they would not be able to immediately afford bigger items such as a fridge or a TV. One in three, or 34 percent of respondents, are in a good enough financial situation to make larger purchases if necessary. A fifth of respondents said their income was sufficient only to buy food, but not clothes.

“The findings of the survey indicate that the financial situation of Estonian residents is quite different, and one of the influencing factors is the level of education. Almost half of the respondents with higher education, or 45 percent, earned more than 1,500 euros, while 19 percent of respondents with secondary, secondary-vocational or vocational education earned more than 1,500 euros, and only 8 percent of respondents with basic education earned more than 1,500 euros,” Koplimae said.

Almost half of those surveyed, 45 percent, said their financial situation had worsened in the past 12 months. Forty percent of respondents said that their financial situation had not changed and 14 percent said that their financial situation had improved over the past year.

“The financial situation has stayed the same or improved primarily for those with a net monthly income of 1,500 euros or more. At the same time, the financial situation has become worse for those earning less than that,” Koplimae said.

Eighty-two percent of the residents whose financial situation had worsened over the past year said the biggest reason was higher prices for foodstuffs and essential goods. This was followed by increases in energy costs such as heating and electricity, named by 66 percent of respondents. However, housing costs and changes in loan repayment amounts have not played as big a role in the worsening of people’s financial situation, being cited by 37 percent and 22 percent of respondents respectively.

“Although there has been much talk in the past year about the rise in Euribor rates and its impact on consumers’ wallets, the results of the survey indicate that the role of rising loan interest rates in undermining the financial situation of Estonian residents is still relatively small. One reason for this is likely the fact that nearly half, or 46 percent, of the participants in the survey live in homes that they own and are not repaying a loan for it. However, they do feel the increase in the prices of food and essential goods on a daily basis, as these expenses cannot be avoided,” Koplimae said.

Despite the worsening economic situation, the majority of Estonian residents are able to pay their loans and leases: 44 percent do not have difficulty handling their existing obligations, and 22 percent find it more difficult than before, but still doable. Only 3 percent of those interviewed said that they are occasionally late in making monthly loan or lease payments, while 6 percent find it very difficult to cover existing liabilities.

The survey conducted by pollster Norstat for SEB Estonia took place in December 2023 and involved 1,000 residents of Estonia aged 18-74.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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