Ramifications of COVID-19 on consumers in Pakistan

COVID-19 or Corona virus has drastically changed the ways of this world from good to bad to worst. Millennials, who covers a large number of population all around the world have never witnessed such a crisis and are reacting differently to the situation, which is leading to a change in buying behaviors.

Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Pakistan and Gallup Pakistan have collaborated to jointly publish a report in this regard.

The report is consisted of the views taken from 1,291 residents via telephonic surveys dated from June 04 to June 16, 2020.

With Covid-19 came the lockdown and with this comes a downfall in economic activities. Several businesses had to shut down, and thus several lost their jobs. This report outlines how the working class have been affected by the pandemic.

80% of the respondents are concerned about the spread of the virus.

41% Respondents expect situation to normalize within the next six months meaning that despite the impact on economic activity, 2 in 5 respondents are hopeful and believe Pakistan will manage to sail through this crisis.

Only 1 in 4 (26%) respondents are pessimistic and envisage a lasting impact on the economy Despite the minimal economic activity in the country, only 26% respondents believe that COVID-19 will have a lasting negative impact on the economy and may lead it into a recession.

Since people have lost their jobs and businesses are being closed down, 91% respondents are concerned about managing their personal finances.

87% of the respondents report that their savings have been impacted.

94% of the respondents are concerned about securing their family’s health as the number of COVID-19 cases increase rapidly in the country .

Pakistan was no different than other countries as millions of jobs were lost here too as businesses were not allowed to operate during lockdown. Some employees were laidoff while others sent on paid or unpaid leaves; creating panic amongst the working class.

15% Consumers adopted digital payments for the first time. Due to the lockdown, non-essential physical stores have been forced to close. Businesses have introduced online channels to compensate for the drop in sales from their traditional brick and mortar stores. Consequently, consumers are shifting towards online shopping to follow social distancing norms. However, only 15% of the consumers have made digital payments for the first time during the pandemic.

39% consumers have decreased their expenses on apparel and footwear during the month of June Consumer spending has reduced across multiple categories, as consumers have seen an impact on their household incomes. This effect is further magnified, as lockdown measures have restricted economic activity.

33% of the consumers have increased their grocery expenditure.

32% increased their expenditure on household cleaning.

32% have increased their expenditure on medicines.

Respondents in Pakistan are mostly concerned about their family’s health (94%), personal finances (91%) and impact on savings (87%) amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

1 in 2 employees have either been laid off or are facing salary reduction 74% of the respondents were either laid off, given salary cuts or were asked to take forced leaves. This can be attributed to an attempt by businesses to reduce operational costs. Ironically high income employees have been least affected and 32% of the low-income respondents have lost their jobs. 26% of the employees responded with no change in their employment status.

During the month of June, consumer spending on Entertainment and Education declined severely, while consumer spending on Medicines and Household Cleaning items increased.

If this situation of economic downturn and reduced income continues, consumers are likely to cut expenditure for non-essential items such as Apparel & Footwear, Skincare & Makeup.

Consumers have been hesitant to adopt digital payment systems due to the big scammers and poor services provided by the banking sectors. According to the data provided by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), digital payments account for only 0.2% of Pakistan’s 100 billion transactions annually.

This menace caused by the global pandemic is not over yet as reports of a second wave has been pouring trough different countries. Meanwhile in Pakistan the first wave is still at its epitome.

The sample weights have been adjusted to sum to the population sizes within each post stratum. Poststratification weights in this report are derived using following variables: o Provinces share in Pakistan’s population o Urban and rural division in Pakistan and within each province o Male and female proportion in urban and rural areas within each province This means that the weights are adjusted so that the weighted totals within mutually exclusive cells equal the known population totals. For the allocation of weights, National census 2017 figures have been used where available.

You can view the full report here .

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