Portuguese ‘crisis mode’ lifestyles persist

Eating out, buying new clothes and shoes and going to the cinema are among the many things that Portuguese people have stopped doing – or are doing less – in order to save money.

These are some of the main points of two studies conducted recently by marketing school IPAM and Observador Cetelem in a prelude to World Consumer Rights Day, celebrated on Sunday (March 15).

According to IPAM’s study, 78% of people queried said they had stopped eating at restaurants, or did so less often, due to the complicated financial times. In most cases, people who used to eat out during their lunch break have started eating lunch at work.

IPAM also stressed that 67% said they had cut costs with shoes and clothes, and when they go shopping they always look for bargains.

Observador Cetelem’s study also shows that 66% are now buying fewer clothes.

Home improvements and the purchase of furniture and home appliances (-64%), as well as trips to the cinema (-51%) are also on the list of self-imposed cuts.

The lifestyle changes do not mean that the Portuguese have a bleak outlook on the future, however.

“The negative tendency has given way to a positive outlook (for 2015), not because people are expecting increases in their incomes, but because they have learned to adapt and live with the crisis,” Mafalda Ferreira, coordinator of the IPAM study, told Dinheiro Vivo.

In fact, 33% of people said that they expect a better 2015 than last year – while 43% say they expect slight improvements in their purchasing power.