Czechs have been saving and reducing spending for 17 months in a row. According to statistics, month-on-month sales in retail fell again. Most of us limit our spending not only in stores and buy, for example, only at discounts, but also, for example, in restaurants or services.
A new hairstyle, skin treatment, but also maybe new clothes. These are the things that people save more and more often. “Sales in specialized clothing and footwear stores decreased year-on-year by 16.1 percent, with household products by 10 percent, with products for culture, sport and recreation by 8.4 percent, with computer and communication equipment by 6.1 percent and pharmaceutical and medical goods by 3 percent,” said Jan Cieslar, spokesman for the Czech Statistical Office.
In response to the crisis, a quarter of the people interviewed also limited the use of some services, such as food delivery, television, taxis, but also hairdressers or massages. “Today, people no longer go to the hairdresser regularly every month, but maybe every two months,” said hairdresser and vice-chairman of the Association of Employers in the Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Tomáš Kotlár.
Hair salons had a hard time getting out of the crisis when they couldn’t operate due to covid. They are also afraid of the coming year. “They will raise our VAT again, they will raise the prices of energy and hot water, and we are all afraid of that. Of course, it’s not like the price will go up by 11 percent. It will go up by at least 20 percent there, and that will hurt the people a lot,” he fears with Kotlár.
And people are also limiting themselves in restaurants. For example, more and more guests do not have a drink with their meal. There are also more customers who don’t tip or tip less than before. “We’ve been following this trend for a long time, practically since it started to be expensive in the Czech Republic, and we’ve been following it mainly with the lunch menu,” said Václav Stárek, president of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants.
“Czechs limit their consumption by not drinking as many drinks or having smaller portions. This is also reflected in the way that people spend less on recreation and leisure services than usual,” noted economist Petr Studnička.
Year-on-year decrease in sales | Source: TV Nova
According to experts, the inflation rate in the following year should reach two percent. If employers add to their workforce, people could have a bit more purchasing power.
The course of this season so far is significantly below average for entrepreneurs in a number of regions. In some places they are in the red compared to last year’s numbers, in other places their sales are the same as last year, even though they have increased in price. Nationwide, sales increased by 3 percent in the first eight months of this year. They are doing exceptionally well only in the south of Moravia, in Prague and in Olomouc. The average price increase in restaurants is 8 percent. Even in regions that are in the green, the increase is not significant.