One in four Cyprus households saw their income drop significantly after the outbreak of the pandemic, according to a market survey commissioned by the Bank of Cyprus.
For another 25 percent of households, income ‘decreased somewhat’ while for almost half (46 per cent) of households, income remained the same. Three per cent saw their income improve while 1 per cent suffered a loss of all income.
The worst hit income group was the ‘lower middle’, 29 per cent of which saw their income decreased significantly and 26 per cent somewhat. One in four ‘low’ income households, experienced a significant decrease in income while 35 per cent said it had decreased somewhat.
Ever since the outbreak of the pandemic and the two-month lockdown imposed last March, government support schemes guaranteed that workers, at businesses that were not operating, as well as the self-employed would still receive most of their monthly wage. This ensured that most households had an income.
In the two higher income groups – ‘upper middle’ and ‘higher’ – 22 per cent saw their income decreased significantly because of the pandemic while for 50 per cent in the former and 45 per cent in the latter it remained the same. In the ‘higher’ income group, 3 per cent saw an improvement in income while 2 per cent suffered the loss of all income.
Confidence in the prospects of the economy were also low. To the question, ‘what are your expectations for the economic situation of the country during the next 12 months,’ 71 per cent asked in September of this year said it would worsen. This was an improvement, the negative sentiment having peaked in April 2020 when it reached 89 per cent.
Some 17 per cent expected the situation to stay the same while 11 per cent believed it would worsen. Negative views on the impact of the pandemic on the economy were evident in all social groups, fluctuating between 67 per cent and 77 per cent.
The survey, conducted island-wide, covering both rural and urban areas, was based on a sample of 720 and was carried out by Symmetron Market Research.