Economic Barometer – Consumer Climate Index (CCI) – October 2014


Consumer sentiment has reverted to the levels of June, registering a marked improvement relative to September. The Consumer Climate Index again surpassed the 70-point mark, after sliding during the previous three months. Although citizens’ assessments of current economic conditions deteriorated marginally, expectations for the financial situation of households stand at the highest levels of the “Memorandum period”. The most important development in the current month is the sharp improvement in expectations for unemployment, with the relevant index reaching its highest level of the past five years.

The Consumer Climate Index – CCI (71.2) reached its third highest level in the period since the signing of the Memorandum (5/2010-10/2014), rising significantly (+3.3 points) relative to the previous month. The current value of the index is surpassed only by the historic high of the “Memorandum period” (72) which was recorded in April and the value registered in August 2010 (71.4). The Current Economic Conditions Index – CECI (49.6) registered a slight improvement (+0.9 points) compared to September, while the Consumer Expectations Index – CEI (85.7, +4.9 points relative to September) reached its second highest level of the past 4½ years (5/2010-10/2014). Its highest value – 86.5 – was recorded in May 2014.

Propensity to buy (68.9) registered an increase (+3.2 points) relative to the previous month. Nearly 3 in 10 respondents (28%) consider that the current period is appropriate for major purchases of household equipment (furniture, electrical appliances, etc.). Assessments of personal financial situation (30.3, -1.5 points relative to September) is the only one of the five sub-indices making up the Consumer Climate Index which deteriorated during the current month. Almost 3 in 4 citizens (73%) estimate that their personal financial situation has worsened in the past 12 months. On the other hand, it is worth noting that the index remains above the 30-point mark for the sixth straight month. Expectations of personal financial situation (67.8) registered a new historic high for the period since the signing of the Memorandum (5/2010-10/2014) after increasing significantly (+5.5 points) in just one month. However, only 1 in 10 (13%) expect their personal financial situation to improve during the coming year. Expectations for the economy improved markedly relative to September. Short-term expectations (77) rose by 6.1 points, following a lengthy period of decline (5/2014-9/2014). At the same time, long-term expectations (112.2) showed a further improvement (+3.1 points), for the second consecutive month. In the October survey, 22% of respondents express optimism that the economy will rebound during the coming 12 months, while 39% anticipate an improvement in the economy over the next five years.

Citizens’ expectations for unemployment (78.6) showed an impressive improvement (+13.8 points) relative to the previous month to reach the highest level of the past five years (10/2009-10/2014). Roughly 2 in 10 (22%) respondents expect unemployment to fall in the coming 12 months. Expectations for saving and inflation changed little. The percentage of those considering it likely they will be able to save some amount of money in the year ahead (7%, +1% relative to September) showed a marginal improvement for the third consecutive month. Lastly, just 1 in 10 (9%, -2% compared to September) anticipate a decrease in prices in the coming 12 months.