South African consumer finances experienced some relief during the First Quarter of 2015 due to declines in fuel prices, this is according to the Consumer Financial Vulnerability Index.
The Index said unfortunately, these declines were short-lived and due to a recovery in international oil prices, a weak exchange rate and tax adjustments fuel prices has increased recently.
“MBD’s Consumer Financial Vulnerability Index (CFVI) for Q1 2015 improved to 52.7 points, following a lower score of 51.2 recorded for the final quarter of 2014,” added the Index.
“The CFVI reflects consumers’ sense or experience as to the state of their cash flow position, which is constantly influenced by macro- and micro-economic factors.”
According to the CFVI measurement scale, consumers continued to perceive their financial situation to be mildly exposed during Q1 2015.
The Bureau of Market Research (BMR) at Unisa conducted the CFVI research on behalf of MBD Credit Solutions.
According to the sub-components of the index, consumers felt more positive in all aspects of their finances as higher scores were realised for expenditure, savings, income and debt servicing capabilities during Q1 2015.
The Index added that consumers remained mildly exposed in terms of their expenditure, savings and income.
“The optimism among consumers, as visible from the improved scores for Q1 2015, is expected to be counteracted by electricity tariff hikes, load shedding, petrol price increases, limited job creation, adjustments to personal income taxes, tight credit conditions and possible increases in interest rates during the year.”