Almost half of Namibians struggle to pay bills and loans

The Transunion Consumer Pulse Index says 49% of Namibian consumers anticipate difficulties meeting their existing bills and loans.

This is despite a 20% increase in income, compared to the third quarter of 2024.

“Despite an overall decrease in consumer inflation to 4,9% in the first five months of 2024, it remained a significant concern for respondents – exacerbated by the sharp escalation of transport inflation, driven by rising fuel prices,” the report reads.

In response to this, the index reports that 52% of Namibians during this time opted to reduce discretionary spending, particularly on dining out, travel and entertainment.

This trend was most prominent among millennials, who accounted for 56% and Gen X with 57%.

Additionally, many are prioritising financial preparedness: 30% aimed to pay off debt faster and notably, 25% of households increased contributions to emergency funds, with Gen Z leading the charge at 33%.

“In response to these challenges, many consumers revised their household budgets in the second quarter of 2024.

Over the past three months, 52% opted to reduce discretionary spending (dining out, travel and entertainment), especially millennials (56%) and Gen X (57%).

“Furthermore, 27% cancelled or reduced their usage of digital services and another 27% cancelled subscriptions and memberships” the report read.

However, looking forward, the report noted there’s cautious optimism, with 81% of consumers feeling optimistic about their future income prospects, particularly the younger generations (Gen Z 85% and millennials 82%).

“To navigate potential hurdles, many plan to increase payments towards bills and loans (46%), while some will seek temporary work (35%) or borrow from friends and family (25%) and a significant portion (44%) intend to increase spending on retirement funds and investments.

“Nevertheless, reflecting their optimism about future income, 44% intended to increase spending on retirement funds/investing, 39% would do so on medical services and 36% planned to spend more on digital services,” shows the report. – The Brief

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