72% of Hong Kong Consumers Say Household Income Negatively Impacted by COVID-19
TransUnion unveils research assessing pandemic’s effect on consumer finances
More than seven in 10 Hong Kong consumers (72%) said their household income has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The newly released research from TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) found that an additional 10% of Hong Kong adults said they expect their household income will suffer in the future.
TransUnion has initiated a survey of adults in Hong Kong and abroad to better understand the financial impact of COVID-19 on consumers. This Hong Kong survey of 1,081 adults was conducted at the beginning of April and is intended to be one in a series of regular surveys looking at the ongoing financial effects of the pandemic.
“Whether it’s their health, financial well-being or changes in day-to-day living, the lives of millions of people in Hong Kong and abroad have been dramatically changed,” said Wingo Wong, Chief Business Officer of TransUnion Hong Kong. “Hong Kong has been dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 for longer than many other regions of the world and as such has a greater experience of and insights into its impacts. The aim of our regular consumer research is to better understand the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and better inform consumers, businesses and government decisions during these unprecedented times.”
TransUnion’s research found that a larger percentage of Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1994) have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. While 72% of consumers surveyed indicated their household income had been impacted by COVID-19, this rose to 76% for Millennials respondents.
Overall, 69% of negatively impacted consumers surveyed said they are concerned about their ability to pay their current bills and loans. On average, respondents that said they expect to be shorted about HK$9,600 in the near future. This figure rises to HK$10,600 for Millennials respondents.
Much of this financial concern is likely to be attributed to the fact that 57% of impacted Hong Kong adults have had their work hours reduced. The survey also found that 17% of respondents have already lost their job as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the financial challenges posed by COVID-19, 51% of the impacted consumers surveyed said they planned to use their savings to pay current bills. A similar number (43%) said they would borrow money from a friend or family member.
Two in five (40%) of those financially impacted by the pandemic said they had already reached out to companies they have credit accounts with to discuss payment options.
“Consumers are facing many unexpected challenges and it’s natural that people are concerned about their finances. We’ve already seen a huge impact on the wider economy, with retail sales down by more than 40% in the latest figures. Although the government has announced aid initiatives, it’s also really important that there is a dialogue between credit institutions and their customers at this time of uncertainty. It is important that consumers understand how their finances might be impacted and to minimize the potential negative impacts of the pandemic on their credit.” concluded Wong.
TransUnion’s research and credit education tools will be updated regularly on its COVID-19 website as the company continues to support consumers and businesses from around the globe.