Pandemic cuts household income by 3.3% and gross operating surplus of businesses by 18%
The impact of the pandemic on household accounts has been more moderate than that suffered by businesses because most of the protective measures put in place by the government have targeted the former. In this regard, Funcas analysts explain that the decline in gross disposable household income in 2020 was 3.3%, lower than that of GDP (-10.8%) and consumption (-12%). At the same time, businesses’ gross operating surplus fell 18%, the largest drop in the entire historical series, and their gross disposable income fell 17%.
Funcas notes that companies have not benefited from support measures comparable to those put in place for households. In addition, alongside a historic drop in their results, there has been an increase in their debt and financial pressure. There has also been an increase in the percentage of businesses with negative results and those in vulnerable situations, which translates into a reduction in the number of businesses.
On the household side, one of the most striking consequences of the crisis has been the historic increase in their savings rate, the result of a greater drop in consumption than in income. Excess savings amount to 60 billion euros, of which 32 billion correspond to preventive savings and 28 billion to forced savings. This pool will not be fully spent, but it offers significant growth potential for consumption – or household investment. We can therefore expect a positive shock to spending as mobility restrictions are lifted and the vaccination process is completed.
The pandemic has not only affected households and businesses, but has also changed, perhaps irreversibly, retail payments. According to the ODF-Funcas barometer, the percentage of the population who made a payment with a mobile phone increased from 55.7% before the pandemic to 63.2% in the last months of 2020. On the other hand, the use of peer-to-peer or P2P money transfer applications, the most eloquent example of which in Spain is Bizum, has increased from 62.8% to 75.3%.