Since the 2008 crisis broke out until now, there are two clearly marked periods. Until 2013, spending by Spanish families fell sharply, falling by 8.8%. In the second period, it skyrocketed (+ 9.3%), approaching the levels of 2008. Despite the push in recent years, the annual spending of Spanish families has contracted from 32,000 euros to 29,180 euros because the wages have been restricted.
Not only lower income justify the change in consumer habits. There is less exposure to luxury. The cheap is revalued. Much more is shared and rented. Utility is preferred to outward appearances, experience and novelty to renowned, and assertiveness of personality to standardization.
These changes in values, added to falling revenues, have led to fewer fresh produce and meals outside the home, more private label brands, and more searches, especially on the internet, to find the cheapest of any product or service.
In the family budget, everything that revolves around the house increases -house, water, electricity, gas- (+ 2.8%), health (0.18%) and education (0.39%). And those items related to food (-0.34%), transport (-1.11%), clothing and footwear (-0.92%), or furniture (-0.60%) fell. Within leisure and culture, the mobile takes the lion’s share.
Josep-Francesc Valls is Professor at ESADE