Covid shopping diet. The Czechs have record savings, they do not want to spend it

There are more and more clues and statistics showing how Czechs are significantly curbing their consumption. Operators of restaurants and hotels, travel agencies, but also operators of cultural events, clothing retailers and even spirits talk about this fact. According to them, Czechs no longer buy expensive premium alcohol, but reach for cheaper spirits. A few days ago, this state of stunned growth in the consumption of locals was also confirmed by a survey by Česká spořitelna through an analysis of card transactions at merchants. According to him, Czechs do not only save on drugs or hobby markets.

This phenomenon is a premonition of the coming harsh winter for the business sector, or at least a large part of it, which may be even more severe than last year. That is why there are already the first attempts to launch government compensation programs that would help companies in selected industries survive. Of course, everything is cursed or justified by the covid. But is this virus really the only culprit of declining or stagnant Czech consumption? The real causes may be elsewhere.

In the spring of this year, the Czech National Bank reported that the Czechs had saved hundreds of billions of crowns during the first waves of the law and had historically recorded amounts of money in their accounts. Economists and traders expected it to spin them during the summer and kick the economy. In part, it happened. The Czechs went on vacation, to restaurants, shopping and so on. However, their spending lasted only a limited time, and moreover, not everyone who had this opportunity spent this massively.

And this brings us to the heart of the problem, which only visibly came to light in the autumn, when the Czechs ended their massive travels, sitting in the gardens, and the staff in the pubs thinned due to government restrictions against the spread of coronavirus. There are several answers to the question why Czechs are starting to sit on their earnings again and spend less. The first reason is uncertainty. No one knows how the epidemic will develop, whether there will be a lockdown, but also the way the next government will face the situation.

That’s not all. During the long weeks and months of previous lockdowns, the Czechs learned to live at home. They noticeably reduced their social contacts and suddenly found out what they really needed and what it made sense to spend. A strong argument for constrained spending is the rise in prices for everything and everywhere. And it will probably be even worse. And we are not talking about people who could never afford to spend any more. A scarecrow in the form of the announced increase in energy prices also came into all this. Santa Claus will probably have a damn hard time this year.

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