Fall in purchasing power number one concern for Belgians

Fall in purchasing power number one concern for Belgians
Credit: Belga.

Research carried out by Le Vif and Knack shows that the most pressing concern for Belgians is the decline in purchasing power facing many households.

Following a study by Humo on the concerns of Flemish people, Le Vif and Knack decided to conduct a survey for the whole of Belgium.

Respondents were asked to rank their worries on six different themes: purchasing power, global warming, migration, employment, nuclear war fear, and Covid-19.

Purchasing power came out on top, with climate breakdown and the threat of war also on their minds. 39% of Belgians ranked purchasing power first and a quarter ranked it second on their list of concerns.

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This is due to the everyday implications that a loss of purchasing power can have are various: increased electricity bills, rising food and gas costs, to name a few.

The majority of Belgians do not anticipate their situation to improve anytime soon – 62% expect their purchasing power to fall over the next five years compared to the 14% that expect it to rise.

Other key figures

However, Belgians' concerns over Covid-19 have subsided significantly. Only 6.9% of respondents listed it as their main concern, with 65% placing it fourth, fifth, or sixth.

This is a role reversal from Belgian concerns at the height of pandemic, when they were largely focused on respecting sanitary measures.

A recent source of fear among respondents is the increasing threat of nuclear war following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 16.7% ranked it first and 16.6% second, accounting for about one-third of the sample.

This fear appears to affect more women than men, with 20.8% of female respondents citing it as their top concern, compared to 12.7% of males.

Regional differences

In Wallonia, purchasing power is the most worrying issue: with nearly half of respondents (48.1%) putting top of their list, while only 1.4% rank it last.

The tendency is less pronounced in Brussels (39.1% in first place and 4.1% in sixth place) and, most notably, in Flanders (34.1% in first place and 4.7% in sixth place).

Dutch speakers (11.2%) do seem more concerned about migration than French speakers (4.6 percent). Conversely, French speakers (10.1%) place work higher on the list than Dutch speakers (7%).

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