The Italian Almanac

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poor and happy

Poor and Happy

The economic downturn has forced 70% of Italians to spend less and try to spend better, according to a a new poll presented at the Consumer Forum, an umbrella group of consumer and business organizations.

Carried out by the IPSOS research group, the poll found that over 50% of Italians complain they cannot make it to the end of the month with their salaries, 70% have cut down on spending, 80% claim they only buy what is necessary and 90% delay purchases when possible. Despite their financial difficulties, the poll found that 90% of Italians consider themselves happy, even though 73% believe they will be worse off in the future, while 75% are convinced that one can live better by spending less.

An analysis of the poll results appeared to show that Italians are adapting to the new reality and 83% of business people interviewed said they offered discounts and sales to their clients. ``The mass market and the trend-following consumer are things of the past. We are now in an era of `non-consuming` in which people are no longer obsessed with buying to keep up with their neighbors,`` observed sociologist Giampaolo Fabris, who oversaw the poll. Today`s consumer, he added, ``is trying to buy less and pay less, while keeping a close eye on the quality of the product and any ethical questions which may be connected with it,`` for example if it is environment friendly and produced under proper working conditions.