Published On: Thu, Jul 21st, 2016

Consumers anxious over interest rates

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE anxiety many consumers feel during every interest rates review is an indication most people do not plan long-term when it comes to their finances, an advisor has said.

Ester Ochse, Channel Head at FNB Advisory, noted consumers, especially those that are servicing debt, will be hoping for yet another interest rates reprieve as the cost of living continues to weigh heavily on household income.

“At the moment, people seem to be grateful to make it to the next interest rates review without defaulting on their debt commitments – instead of making the most of these changes to improve their financial security by saving, investing or quickly paying-off debt to boost disposable income,” says Ochse.

“Even though most consumers’ financial position might be constrained due to the tough times, it is not ideal for people to merely survive interest rates changes without taking advantage of its opportunities.”

Ochse says in most cases, small changes in lifestyle can lead to major financial opportunities for consumers who would like to save or invest for a rainy day.

Adding that the economy is challenging for everyone but only those who make smart, long-term financial decisions will be able to rise above the challenge and secure a better financial future.

The plight of consumers was recently highlighted in the recent FNB/BER Consumer Confidence which revealed consumer confidence levels remain depressed, which signals consumers are concerned about the outlook for the domestic economy and their household finances.

“Long-term thinking and planning will allow people to cope with the current economic challenges. Fluctuations in fuel and food prices are likely to continue keeping consumers on their toes,”  Ochse advises.

CAJ News

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