83% of Maltese feel in control of the financial situation – survey

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Eighty-three per cent of the Maltese feel in control of the financial situation, results of a survey shows.

ĠEMMA, government’s financial capability education platform, is carrying out a longitudinal study on Household Money Management within the context of the COVID-19 situation.  The first report which surveys opinion in March and April 2020 is launched.  The survey was carried out by EMCS.  The survey finds:

Planning and emergency funds

  • 83% in May (82% in April) of the general public feels that it is in control of their financial situation.
  • Respondents with emergency funds for more than 3 months fell from 47% in April to 44% in May; whilst those with a fund between 2 and 3 months increased from 13% to 18%.
  • Respondents that felt that their financial situation improved over the last month fell from 12% to 9% between April and May, and those who felt it remained the same increased from 53% to 59%.
  • 19% in May felt that their financial situation will improve in the coming 3 months compared to 11% in April.
  • Attitudes towards daily living expenditure and major purchases
  • Respondents who felt that ‘now’ is not the right time for major purchases increased from 16% to 35% between April and May.
  • 50% of the respondents in May stated that they were not able to save over the last 3 months – previously 46% in April
  • 55% of the respondents in both April and May expressed that they worry about their financial future.
  • 26% of the respondents in May who hold a pension plan will consider increasing their retirement pot in the next 3 months when compared to April.
  • The number of persons who expressed that they are more knowleadgeable on money matters increased from 26% to 42% between April and May.

David Spiteri Gingell, ĠEMMA Team Leader observed that the survey shows that overall there is a positive shift in the management of household money matters between April and May.  This comes out strongly from responses relating to major purchases and pension planning – an increased readiness to spend on major purchases rather than saving for the longer-term impact of COVID-19 and a greater willingness to plan for retirement rather than deferring funds for addressing the resulting here and now COVID-19 money impacts.  Be that as it may, the number of respondents who stated that they managed to save over the past 3 months increased from 46% in April to 50% in May which Spiteri Gingell stated is encouraging.

There also seems to be a return in certain matters to pre-COVID-ID behaviour.  With a more optimistic mode in May there is a marginal decrease in the need to have a rainy day fund:  falling from 42% to 40% as against strengthening of the money household reserves so that families are better prepared for future money management crisis. This optimistic change could be attributable to the relaxation measures that took place in the month of May. For more details, one may visit gemma.gov.mt

The next ĠEMMA Pulse report will be issued in December 2020 with results for surveys carried out in August and November.

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