EOS Consumer Study shows that inflation is a burden on Europeans - EOS Group

Hamburg, Germany, March 15, 2023

  • Inflation and energy costs the main drivers for new debt  
  • Consumers cutting back primarily on travel, restaurant visits and new clothing 
  • Majority of Europeans worried about their financial future

For the majority of Europeans (53 percent), soaring inflation rates and the energy crisis are resulting in greater price consciousness. At the same time, around a fifth of respondents took on new debt in the last six months. These were some of the insights from the recent representative survey “Europeans in financial trouble? EOS Consumer Study 2023”, which polled 7,700 consumers in 13 European countries. 

On average, consumers in eastern Europe are affected by new debt to a greater extent

Especially in eastern European countries like Romania (67 percent), Hungary (66 percent) and the Czech Republic (63 percent), consumers have been watching their expenditure closely in the last six months. Looking at the whole of Europe, the respondents stated that they were cutting back in particular on travel and cultural and leisure activities (33 percent each), but also on new clothing (28 percent). At the same, around one in five took on new debt in the last six months. The main reasons cited for this were inflation (49 percent) and higher energy costs (27 percent). 

In eastern European countries like Romania and Hungary (30 percent each), North Macedonia (29 percent) and Serbia (28 percent), consumers took on new debt more frequently than the European average. Western Europeans were more likely (18 percent) to use the new debt to pay for travel, in contrast to Eastern Europeans, who took on debt primarily for heating and electricity (28 percent). 

“Not only in times of crisis are debts unpleasant for people, they express a liquidity shortage, in this case an existential one when it comes to heating and electricity. This makes it even more important to approach these people with empathy and respect, to listen to them and to work out customized solutions, for example in joint agreements for installments, or even about their preferences for when and how they want to be contacted”, says Bartosz Jurczyk, Operations and Strategy Division Director at EOS Poland. The goal of EOS is always to help people find a solution that suits them personally and works quickly to reduce their debts, Jurczyk continues. 

When looking for tailored solutions for defaulting consumers, analytical data and decision-making models are used to determine exactly which communication channels and payment methods individual consumers prefer. “This means that collection activities are already customized to each person from within the system”, explains Mirjana Ćevriz, business analyst and application support expert at EOS Serbia.

Inflation the greatest concern about the future 

High inflation and skyrocketing energy costs are causing anxiety about their financial future among around three-quarters of the consumers surveyed (73 percent). Worries about unemployment are affecting 18-34-year-olds in particular. “In the study, we see that inflation is leaving its mark on consumers,” says Marwin Ramcke, CEO of the EOS Group. “Especially in times of crisis, debts are often unavoidable when it comes to overcoming cash flow problems and even salvaging livelihoods. As one of the leading debt collection companies in Europe, it is important to us to support consumers fairly in repaying their debts.” This helps them personally, but also helps the economy into which the money is returned, Ramcke continues.

Cash especially popular

Apart from the more responsible attitude to dealing with higher prices, the survey also reveals changes in the use of payment methods. 42 percent of respondents stated that in the last six months they had used cash more frequently than before. In the case of 18-34-year-olds, of whom around half were using cash more often, this result is particularly surprising. At the same time, however, the survey also indicated that people in this age group use a wider range of payment methods. 

About the EOS survey “Europeans in financial trouble? EOS Consumer Study” 

In partnership with Dynata, a specialist in online surveys, EOS conducted an online poll of 7,700 consumers in 13 European countries between February 3–9, 2023. The survey focused on the question of how the last six months had affected the consumption patterns and financial situation of the participants. 

About the EOS Group

The EOS Group is a leading technology-driven investor in receivables portfolios and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. With over 45 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 24 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, real estate, telecommunications, utilities and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 6,000 people and is part of Otto Group.

For more information on EOS Group, please go to: eos-solutions.com

Contact for press and media:

Sarah El Jobeili, Corporate Communications & Marketing EOS Group
Email: presse@eos-solutions.com
Tel: +49 40 2850 1222