A study carried out by credit management service company Intrum showed that 65% of Estonians reduced their daily expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was the highest figure in Europe. However, the Estonian retail sector has shown signs of rapid recovery.
Estonia was the clear leader in the ranking. The country was followed by France with a 47% decline and Ireland with 46%. Latvia (42%) and Lithuania (38%) also had higher figures than the European average, which was 36%.
The coronavirus pandemic had the least change in consumption patterns in Hungary (21%). Austria, Denmark and Germany all had 23%.
While Estonian families with children increased their expenses, the situation in the other Baltic countries was the opposite and families reduced spending.
Ilva Valeika, CEO of Intrum Baltic, said: “Considering that the vast majority of respondents in Estonia (79%) are dissatisfied with their monthly savings and 32% don’t even set aside money every month, it is understandable why COVID-19 cut their costs.”
Spending habits in Estonia have now seen a rapid recovery.
Data from Statistics Estonia (Statistikamet) showed the retail trade turnover in May was almost the same as in the same month in 2019. It has only decreased by 1% YoY.
The growth came mainly from household goods and appliances, hardware and building material stores, as well as in commodity groups such as electronics, books, sports goods, games, toys, flowers and plants.
At the same time, sales revenue in textile, clothing and footwear stores decreased by 22% in May. (ERR/Business World Magazine)