Estonian residents have more confidence in the economy and are more satisfied with their financial situation than their Latvian and Lithuanian counterparts, the SEB Baltic Household Outlook reveals.
Seventy-three per cent of the Estonian population are moderately satisfied with their financial situations while in Latvia and Lithuania, the percentage is much lower at 59 and 62 per cent, respectively. In Latvia, those residing near Riga are the most satisfied with their economic situation; however, the residents of Tallinn and Vilnius are much more constrained in their assessments.
The highest financial satisfaction levels in Estonia are in the Southern and Central regions with 80 and 79 per cent, respectively. In contrast, the resident population of Ida-Viru County were among those giving the lowest assessment to their financial situation in the Baltic states – just 57 per cent are satisfied.
Most Estonians are doing well financially
Likewise, among the Baltic states Estonians have the most confidence in the economy – 81 per cent are doing well financially, whereas the same indicator for Latvia and Lithuania is 70 and 66 per cent, respectively. In all three countries, at least 45 per cent of the population can buy everything they need and also put some money aside. While in Estonia just 2.5 per cent per cent of population cannot buy necessities, the same figure for Latvia and Lithuania is 6 and 7 per cent, respectively. Five per cent of Estonians see no need to rein in their consumption due to financial considerations; however, in Latvia and Lithuania the same is claimed by just 1.5 and 2 per cent of the respondents, respectively.
Compared to its southern neighbours, there are more people in Estonia that have experienced income growth. Over the past 12 months, 37 per cent of Estonians, 18 per cent of Latvians and 22 per cent of Lithuanians have experienced a slight increase in their income. Given the amount of income, the debt burden is similar among the three Baltic populations.
SEB Economic Analyst Mihkel Nestor comments on the survey as follows: “While the higher economic security of Estonians was somewhat predictable, what surprised us was the positive stance of people from regions farther away from Tallinn. It shows that other factors besides income affect people’s perceived financial security, such as the amount of financial obligations and the general cost of living”.
Economic security and satisfaction with the financial situation are greater among specialists and managerial staff with a higher education who are earning a higher income. In all three countries, salaried workers with a lower level of education and income tend to be more dissatisfied.