Indebtedness hits a file 79%, and every day bills are the largest trigger

Indebtedness hits a file 79%, and every day bills are the largest trigger

The number of Brazilians in debt reached a new record in August, rising from 78% to 79% of the total number of families in the country, according to a survey released by the CNC (National Confederation of Commerce in Goods, Services and Tourism).

A year ago, that number was 72.9%. Likewise, the percentage of defaulters (those with overdue accounts) increased – from 29% to 29.6% (compared to 25.6% in August 2021), also the worst level in the survey, which began in 2010.

These results appear at a time of inflation still close to double digits and high interest rates, which compromises the Brazilian budget and, according to experts, can affect the trajectory of recovery of the economy after the impact of covid-19.

“Especially after the last GDP data (referring to the 2nd quarter), we know that credit has been a relevant way to support consumption, so much so that indebtedness has been growing since last year”, said Ízis Janote Ferreira, economist from CNC. She points out that high indebtedness can compromise consumption capacity, especially next year. “There comes a time when it runs out.”

In a virtuous cycle of employment and income, the growth of indebtedness would not necessarily represent a problem. On the contrary, it could mean more consumption, especially of durable goods such as cars and appliances, whose sales are usually split by consumers. The worrying thing in the current scenario is that the job market has even generated jobs, but with lower wages.

According to Ízis, the research has shown that the increase in indebtedness was one of the ways found by the consumer to try to maintain current expenses.

This appears, for example, when considering the average term of new financing. A year ago, this number was equivalent to 7.3 months. By last August’s survey, it dropped to 6.8 months, which would indicate greater growth in short-term loan types.

“It’s not personal credit or to buy well. It is short-term credit, on the card and in the store booklet, to support the consumption of the most basic, non-durable items of the day-to-day budget. It’s not to change cars or buy appliances,” she said.

For Gilberto Braga, finance professor at Ibmec, the increase in Auxílio Brasil to R$ 600 should ease the finances of the poorest families by the end of the year. The depletion movement will tend to stay longer towards 2023.

“We’ll have to wait and see what Auxílio Brasil will look like next year. The job market is improving.”

Carnes and store cards grow as an option, but require attention

The use of retailers’ own booklets and cards has grown as a form of credit in recent months, to the detriment of purely financial instruments, show data from the Consumer Indebtedness and Default Survey (Peic), of the National Confederation of Commerce in Goods, Services and Tourism (CNC).

It is yet another option for consumers to close accounts on a tight budget, but it also requires attention from families to avoid disorganized accounts.

In August, 19.4% of indebted households resorted to retail store booklets and cards, an increase of 0.5 percentage point compared to July.

Credit cards continue to be the main type of indebtedness, with 85.3% in August, the same proportion as in July, but 3.5 percentage points lower than in April, since when it has been falling.

According to Gilberto Braga, finance professor at Ibmec, part of this movement is structural and has more to do with retailers’ strategy than with demand from families. Faced with high interest rates, retail companies are fleeing financial services and have taken advantage of the diversification of financial services by digital banks to offer credit and installments directly to consumers.

For the consumer, the resumption of direct installment plans with shopkeepers has become “another alternative to pedaling the budget”, said Braga. “It became another source for him to try to survive in the short term”, added the professor, noting that this source of credit also has limits, although he says that this depletion should be for 2023.

In the case of Ana Félix, 54, the credit was the way out to deal with the complications that came after being unemployed due to the pandemic. Today, she works from Sunday to Sunday to pay the bills. From Monday to Thursday, she works as a saleswoman in downtown Rio. From Friday to Sunday, she is a caregiver for the elderly.

“The pandemic has disrupted a lot. I stayed put, we stayed at home without working, then the bills began to snowball,” said Ana. “I am in default. My priority is to pay the electricity, water, telephone and credit card bills”, she acknowledged.

Food boom removes superfluous item from Brazilian shopping list

Brazilian consumers plan to increase spending on goods in the coming months, but rising food prices are the main obstacle faced by Brazilians in exercising their desire to consume, according to a survey by consulting and auditing firm PwC Brasil.

Pointed out by 67% of respondents, food inflation forces consumers to direct a greater part of the household budget to essential items, to the detriment of superfluous items. The second and third obstacles to purchases most mentioned by consumers were issues related to shipping, such as failure to meet deadlines (complaint recorded by 44% of respondents), and delay in delivery (43% of citations).

“This started in December, and the market felt it a lot: the exchange of items, always for products with lower added value, at a lower cost, until the consumer either stopped consuming the product or was left with just one thing, the reduced value,” said Luciana Medeiros, partner at PwC Brasil.

Food purchased in supermarkets for consumption at home increased by 17.37% in the 12 months ended in August, according to IPCA-15 data, calculated by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). The price of diesel oil, which affects the cost of freight, increased by 58.81% in the period of one year, according to the IPCA-15.

In addition to food inflation and delivery problems, Luciana recalls that consumers have also felt the impacts of the disorganization of the supply chain on the consumption experience in some segments, such as the lack of products or waiting lines, especially for cars and equipment. electronics.

According to the consulting and auditing firm, the outlook is still positive for retail in the medium term. In Brazil, 70% of respondents said they had increased their online purchases during the pandemic, and 55% of consumers declared that they will further increase these purchases in the next six months, while 36% expect to maintain current levels. A third of respondents (34%) plan to expand their consumption in physical stores, and 45% expect to maintain the current level of consumption.

The expansion of income transfer measures for the population should benefit more the acquisition of essential items than superfluous items, such as the food segment, evaluated Luciana.

The information is from the newspaper. The State of São Paulo

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