European consumer confidence has plummeted since February and faith in leaders' ability to control rising prices is dwindling. In Portugal, it is believed that inflation will continue indefinitely, aggravating the fact that six out of ten Portuguese people are financially worse off than last year, according to the European Consumer Payment Report 2022, promoted by Intrum.

The scenario of economic instability and geopolitical uncertainty is making consumers feel "even more insecure than during the darkest days of lockdown", says the report. Luís Salvaterra, director general of the credit management services company, explains to Dinheiro Vivo that the issue transcended the financial condition and that people are being mentally affected: "Inflation weighs on the daily income of families, leading to a loss of purchasing power and a drop in the standard of living."

"Bill anxiety" is very real, with more and more consumers worrying about bills as they don't know if they will be able to pay more each month. More than 70% of the Portuguese respondents consider that their fixed expenses are evolving faster than their remuneration. The value compares with 51% in 2021, translating to a rise of 22% in the space of a year, justified, in part, by the fact that companies are not carrying out wage increases in line with inflation, which in October reached almost 11 %.

The report also found that a third of respondents confessed to having less than 10% of their pay after paying off monthly bills.

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