Household exposure to financial risks: the first wave of impact from COVID-19 on the economy

The full scale of the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 outbreak is incalculable today, given the uncertainty of lockdown duration and the severity of pandemic-driven slowdown in the international economy. Still, it is possible to analyze the direct implications of the lockdown, self-isolation and quarantine measures introduced over the last few weeks in an attempt to formulate a preliminary assessment of how the outbreak will affect households in economic terms. The priority challenge now is, of course, to contain the spread of coronavirus, but as we identify the scale of potential economic consequences associated with the pandemic, we may help calibrate the safeguards that could protect households from the impact of the imminent economic slowdown.

In this commentary paper, based on the Household Budget Survey (HBS) data, the percentage of households (HHs) whose members are most at risk of losing their job or compromising their income due to the first wave of economic consequences of the pandemic is taken as a measure of economic impact of COVID-19 outbreak. The analysis looks into the population of people who are economically active (through employment or self-employment) in those sectors of the economy which are most exposed to the effects of the lockdown. According to our findings, 17.2 percent of the HHs in Poland are at risk of a loss of income due to the first wave of economic consequences of the pandemic, and for 5.2 percent of the HHs this risk can be described as particularly high. When we focus on the HHs with at least one person active on the labor market, the parameters are 24.7 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.

The full report is available here.

The results presented in the report are also available in Microsoft Excel.