VIENNA, Austria - October 21, 2020 – Lockdown and contact restrictions have made many Austrians reflect: Now, many think differently about their social relations, consumer habits and health than before the Corona pandemic. This is shown by a recent survey of 1,005 Austrians between the ages of 16 and 69 conducted by the market research company Integral on behalf of BAWAG P.S.K. in September. Financially, the last few months have been a "game changer", especially for the younger generation: According to their own statements, half of the under-30s have had to "tighten their belts" due to short-time work and unemployment, and therefore want to save more in the future. 4 of 10 also plan to tackle the topic of (financial) old-age provision. Around 20% plan also to invest in the capital market.
"Among the generation under 30 you can find many apprentices, students or job starters for whom many things have changed ‚overnight' as a result of the Corona crisis. They often have little savings or a lower income than older generations, which is why uncertain career prospects represent a new and major challenge. Therefore, the importance of financial stability and future planning is increasing, especially for them", explains Werner Rodax, Managing Director Retail Market Austria at BAWAG P.S.K.
Attitudes towards finance change most among the under-30s
At a first glance, the survey results with regards to finances are similar in all age groups: 17% of under-30s think differently about their financial life today than before, and 16% of 30-40 year-olds and 50-60 year-olds each. However, if you look at the results in detail, you can see most changes in the financial behavior of Austrians "under 30". Thus, 46% want to save more for unexpected situations. According to their own statements, almost half of them restrain from shopping, spending money and overdrawing their bank account. Every fourth in this age group checks incomes and expenses more precisely.
Financial planning for the future and retirement planning is also gaining more in importance in this age group than in others: 2 out of 10 are increasingly interested in securities, investment and retirement planning since the Corona crisis. 43% plan to make financial provisions for their old ages, almost 30% want to invest in securities. In addition, every third person attaches value to sustainable investments. In comparison: "Only" 9% of those surveyed between the ages of 30 and 49 plan to invest in the capital markets.
Corona changes the job situation for half of young professionals
The fact that finances are increasingly in focus, especially among young Austrians, is also due to uncertain times on the labor market. For every second Austrian under 30 years Corona has/had influence on the job situation: A third of the 16 to 29-year-olds were or are still affected by short-time work, 14% were unemployed, but are already again employed. Thus, the pandemic effect young employees more than older generations, because for two thirds of the 30 to 49-year-olds and three quarters of the 50 to 69-year-olds Corona had no influence on their job situation.
Social relations, consumer habits and health: Crisis leads to broad rethinking
The study results also underline that the Corona pandemic has changed the way we act and live together. In recent months, many Austrians have thought about what they would like to do differently in various areas of their lives in the future. Due to contact restrictions and distance rules, most Austrians think about their relationships with family and friends: 35% of all respondents point to a rethinking in this area, and among 50-69-year-olds it is almost 40%. One third also state that they think about consuming differently than before the outbreak of the pandemic, which is most true for the 50-69 age group with a share of 35%. In addition, nearly a third of all respondents state that they think differently about health today, most strongly the age group between 50 and 69 years with 36%. Changes in everyday working life, whether it was the move to the home office or short-time work or unemployment, were also "game changer": 18% have changed their attitude to professional matters. A change in attitude towards environmental protection took place among 14% of those surveyed, with the strongest change in attitude among those under 30 (15%).
Manfred Rapolter (Head of Corporate & Commercial Communications, Spokesperson)