SA consumers more vulnerable in 2013

By Phakamisa Ndzamela

South Africa’s consumers were more vulnerable financially in 2013‚ with cash flow at its worst since 2009‚ the MBD consumer financial vulnerability index shows.

The index measures financial vulnerability by looking at the income‚ expenditure‚ savings and debt servicing situation of consumers and is done on behalf of MBD by the Unisa Bureau of Market Research.

In the third quarter of 2013 consumers experienced a weaker cash flow position partly due to labour strikes‚ which deprived some of the workers of income.

“During times of labour strikes workers normally do not get paid‚ which sets in motion a domino effect as their income vulnerability results in them also becoming more savings vulnerable as well as debt-servicing vulnerable‚” the index‚ which was released on Thursday (20/02/2014)‚ showed.

MBD said the consumer financial vulnerability index fell to 48.9 points in 2013 compared with 51.4 in 2012.

The decline in the consumer financial vulnerability index could have been worse were it not for an improvement in the fourth quarter of 2013‚ MBD said.

In the fourth quarter some workers had income increases after the strikes and others had 13th cheques and bonuses that improved their financial vulnerability.

In the fourth quarter of 2013 the consumer financial vulnerability index improved to 52 points from 45.9 in the third quarter.

For the annual consumer financial vulnerability index about 5‚000 households were interviewed and data was collected from 104 key informers such as debt providers and retailers‚ Unisa Bureau for Market Research’s Prof Bernadene de Clercq said. © BDlive 2013

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