COVID-19 Reduces Consumer Income By 30% – Report
Consumer income levels have fallen by 30 per cent in Nigeria since March due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
This was disclosed in a recent survey conducted by REACH Technologies, a Nigeria-based fintech, on behalf of FBNQuest.
The survey corroborated findings by the National Bureau of Statistics that the Nigerian consumers had fallen on harder times.
The report said, “We infer from the survey that income levels are down by an average of 30 per cent since March, while job opportunities are fast disappearing.
“Another sticking point is that consumption of non-essentials has been cut drastically.”
Respondents were quoted as saying that they had reduced spending on higher value category items by about 22 per cent since March.
The report said although overall consumption had reduced since the pandemic started, the least spending cuts were made on food and health, which was viewed as most essential.
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“It is now becoming clear that the consumer goods sector is among the hardest hit by the economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said.
According to the survey, the fragility of household wallets has been laid bare, with statistics now pointing to even weaker consumer sentiments.
It said the knock-on effect of fading demand and weaker oil prices were also stifling earnings of consumer goods companies.
The survey showed that the market had responded sharply to the challenges by marking some companies down.
It said the consumer goods companies had also entered an exceptionally tough phase, adding, “Following the crude price collapse in March, accessing foreign exchange at higher interbank rates made obtaining raw materials more challenging.
“The companies are only able to obtain dollars at rates of around N360-390/$ relative to N330-360/$ pre-oil collapse. That aside, given that consumer wallets are under pressure, passing on price increases to combat heightened competition comes at a great cost.”
According to the report, Q2 results – most of which will have been published by late July) – will reflect more of the COVID-related challenges, given that the lockdown took effect in late March.
It said, “The other pressure point expected to be seen comes from foreign exchange losses booked by the listed companies in their financial statements as a result of the currency depreciation.