Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its impact on living costs have impacted the financial peace of mind of people living in Belgium, according to a survey by life insurer NN on Tuesday.
The survey, which questioned more than 1,000 people in March, showed that almost half of the respondents (49%) feel very anxious about their finances, an increase of 12% since 2021.
The insurer measured the financial serenity of people living in Belgium through a barometer that is updated every six months. The financial confidence of Belgians has plummeted and reached its lowest level in two years.
Fears of having to deal with a new financial crisis are at the same level as April 2020, the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as 86% of respondents are expecting this to happen.
Increased living costs
The increased cost of living — including energy prices and the rising cost of certain food products, among others — is at the core of people's worries. The number of respondents who fear rising costs rose between October 2021 and March 2022.
"The current development of energy prices, the news about inflation and the many predictions that food will become more expensive are clearly causing unease among Belgians," said Bart Chiau, senior expert at NN and professor at UGent.
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Indebted people (64%), women (59%), manual workers (57%) and those who are unemployed (56%) are the groups in the population most worried about the increased cost of living. Meanwhile, the effects of inflation on savings is keeping 36% of people in Belgium up at night.