Survey: Economic security good, opinion split on state's pandemic actions

Euros. Source: (Marco Verch/Wikimedia Commons)

Pollster Kantar Emor's emergency situation monitoring survey shows that the economic and emotional security of residents of Estonia is generally good, but concerns remain over the long-term consequences of the emergency situation. Respondents' viewers were split on action taken by the government so far.

The survey of 628 people shows 64 percent of respondents consider the financial situation of their household to be good or very good.

Kantar Emor strategy consultant Kristiina Kruuse said: "This is to be expected, as the emergency situation has lasted for a few weeks and the crisis situation was entered with the economy of good times. The impact on income and perception of it will not come immediately."

On the other hand, the emergency situation has made people more cautious as 37 percent of respondents said they are making purchases as usual, while a third said they are spending less and trying to collect savings.

"For businesses, this means that people have money in their pockets, but spending is more carefully considered. This also stands out well in the commodity groups people have bought and are planning to buy, with staple goods in the foreground and luxury at the end. Real estate and other major purchase plans have also been postponed," Kruuse added.

Half of respondents support state's pandemic response

Half of the residents of Estonia consider the activities of the state so far to be sufficient. Slightly less than half, 45 percent, said that the state's actions have been inadequate.

"Those people who think government action has been inadequate find that restrictions were introduced too late and could be even stricter. People also wished to see more people tested for coronavirus and that the government's messages to the residents be consistent and clear," Kruuse said.

She added that that next week's monitoring survey may unveil an entirely different picture when it comes to the adequacy of the restrictions, as this week's survey was conducted from Monday (March 23) to Wednesday (March 25), before the decision to close shopping centers was announced. Kruuse said businesses have already learned their first lessons that the emergency situation calls for new tactics.

"We can see that otherwise discount-minded consumers want to see corporate responsibility in the current emergency situation. When we asked people what companies should do at present, less than a fifth said they would like to see discounts. Instead, the vast majority want companies to contribute to the health of their employees and to focus on the temporary restructuring of their businesses to survive the crisis," she said.

Kruuse said that it is also positive that 92 percent of the residents of Estonia said that controlling the spread of coronavirus depends on every person in Estonia. "The message that everyone's behavior matters has penetrated. However, the room for interpretation can be quite wide in terms of what one considers to be their contribution and how strict they are with themselves to adhere to the rules," she added.

This week, pollster Kantar Emor launched an emergency situation radar for businesses and state institutions. In the radar, the pollster is to carry out weekly monitoring of the information space, attitudes and behavior of the residents of Estonia in the emergency situation.

This week's survey was carried out from March 23 to March 25 and involved interviewing altogether 628 people of Estonia between the ages 15 and 84, which is sufficient for making generalizations regarding the population.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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