Impacts of the pandemic’s fifth wave persist
The majority of consumers continued to experience sustained impact on household incomes — which began in the previous quarter due to the latest omicron wave. On the other hand, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 5.4% to 5.1%1 in the three months ending May 2022. Together with the fact the government gradually relaxed social distancing measures, this should ultimately help improve the job market and alleviate pressures on household incomes.
Despite facing challenges, consumer sentiment improved
In light of an improving job market and upcoming second round of government consumption vouchers to be shared with the public, more consumers said they’d increase discretionary spending, and expected to maintain or increase other kinds of spending in the coming three months. Incremental consumer spending is expected to stimulate the use of credit cards which were the most favoured product among those who planned to apply for new credit.
A gap between recognising the importance of credit and taking action
While most consumers recognised the importance of monitoring credit regularly and accessing credit to achieve financial goals, a much smaller percentage of consumers actually took action. This may be due to several interrelated reasons, including an expectation they may not have sufficient access to credit, perceived complexity of the application process, and costs.
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