More than two years after the beginning of the pandemic, the changes it brought are felt, and this is confirmed by the MasterIndex research conducted for Mastercard at the end of April 2022 by the Improve agency. As in last year's edition of this survey, Croats said that they missed gatherings, hugs, entertainment and travel. When it comes to their concerns, this year for a high 76 percent of respondents - 33 percent more than last year - the first place was occupied by inflation, i.e. rising prices.
The decline in the quality of health care worries 42 percent of respondents, and travel restrictions, decline in the quality of education and being made redundant are also high on the scale of everyday worries. Respondents are less worried about job losses and travel restrictions than last year, and interestingly, for the first time, concerns about energy supplies, declining living standards and crime and corruption were high on the list. Only 3 percent of respondents have concerns about environmental pollution.
What makes respondents happy and what worries them?
In addition to the environment, respondents also expressed concern that the pandemic would affect their health - the younger among them are concerned about physical and the elderly about mental health.
Research has also revealed those slightly brighter sides of the pandemic. Of all the respondents, 63 percent are happy to spend more time with their families, while 49 percent are happy to spend more time outdoors. Slightly more than in the previous wave of research, or 53 percent of respondents, are happy because more public services are available online. Solidarity in the community and working from home were also included in the list of what makes the participants happy, and 33 percent of Croatians are in love with online shopping.
Missing hugs - Photo - Mastercard
Most respondents still miss social gatherings (57 percent), family gatherings (33 percent), but also hugs and touches (31 percent). This is especially pronounced in the oldest age group (50-55 years), while the youngest age group (18-29) lacks nightlife, outings, festivals and concerts more than average.
We spend less on cultural events
The changes brought about in the previous two years have also affected consumer income and shopping habits. As many as 41 percent of respondents experienced a drop in household income, which is why 59 percent of them gave up on planned larger purchases for the household or for themselves.
When it comes to average monthly consumption, in 59 percent of households it is at the same level as before the pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, a fifth of respondents have increased their monthly spending, and 18 percent have reduced it.
If we look at what respondents spend, their spending in most categories is at the same level as before the pandemic, while a significant decline is seen in the categories of cultural events: exhibitions, theatres, cinemas, concerts (59 percent), travel (57 percent) and restaurants (49 percent).