09_18 Lower spirits in the final days of the summer vacation… TNS Consumer Index

August has been the seventeenth month in a row with the TNS Consumer Index “in the black” (since and including April 2017). It seldom happens that Poles consistently provide more positive than negative answers to all the question that our consumer index consists of. A similar situation happened only once since the beginning of the study in 1994, with a period of positive responses spanning over 19 months between April 2007 and October 2008.

That situation might have lasted even longer if not for the so-called subprime crisis – one of the most severe financial crises in history, which commenced with the now-symbolic collapse of the Lehman Brothers bank. Is the current “favourable side-trend” likely to continue as well? How long are these relatively positive moods likely to last? Or maybe, staying true to our national tendency to grumpiness, we should be already looking for signs of another “beautiful disaster”?

From a long-term perspective, values of the consumer index throughout the last 1.5 years ranged between 2 and 10 points. The current value of 2 points is the lowest result in this entire period (save for its beginning, in April 2017). In the short term, the value of the index has dropped since the previous month (5.4 in July), and this has been the second month in a row with the value becoming lower month on month (10 points in June).

This short-term drop in TNS Consumer Index values has been caused by consumer moods deteriorating in big cities, among singles (1-person households), and among the less well-off (e.g. the unemployed). On the other hand, managers and 3+-person households evaluated their current and future situation favourably. Given that this is the vacation season after all, media reports on the country’s economic situation should not be viewed as cause for concern either (with favourable news coming in from the investment sector).

It would seem that this temporary dip in consumer moods can be attributed to the end of the summer vacation. Soon children will be going back to school, parents back to work, entrepreneurs will return to their investments, and in a month we are all going to be relatively happy again.

Andrzej Olękiewicz

Data Science Consultant