Portuguese more pessimistic than ever

The vast majority of Portuguese believe that their financial situation will be worse in a year from now.

They have never been as pessimistic about the country’s economic situation as now according to a poll taken by Marktest for business daily Diário Economico and radio station TSF which showed that the Expectation Index had plummeted in October to 13.65%, the lowest ever.

In April 2010 the index stood at 33.53%, having deteriorated ever since. The previous lowest level had been registered in October last year (again, the same month as the State Budget was revealed) when the index had fallen to 14.45%.

The poll was carried out one day after the State Budget for 2012 was announced in October, which explains the increased pessimism and expectations on future perspectives.

The State Budget 2012 included the measures agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding with the Portuguese government and went on to include the cancellation of the double holiday salaries for public sector employees earning over €1,000 per month.

Concrete measures agreed with the ‘Troika’ involved an overall increase in taxes – IRC (Corporation Tax), IRS (Income Tax) and IVA (VAT on some goods), among others.

According to Marktest statistics, 77.1% of Portuguese believe that things will be worse in the country next year. The most pessimistic region was Greater Porto where 80% of residents thought that the situation would get worse.

On the other hand, the upper middle and upper income classes were most worried about the situation, with more than 84% expecting the future to be bleaker than it is now.

The lower middle class and lower income groups were, surprisingly, the least pessimistic, with the percentage believing things would get worse standing at around 74%.

When it came to age groups, those in the 35 to 54 age groups were the most pessimistic, although overall the level of negative thinking spanned all age groups.