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Two months before the cliff - millions of Europeans cannot afford food and lodging after two months without income

Posted On: May 7, 2020   |   Posted By: Bruegel

Two months before the cliff - millions of Europeans cannot afford food and lodging after two months without income

Despite state support, the COVID-19 crisis is wreaking havoc on households' finances across Europe. Millions of individuals have stopped working or had to substantially reduce their working hours because of health restrictions or suppressed demand. How many households in Europe could live without income for one or two months?
In a working paper, we used the 2017 wave of the European Central Bank Household Finance and Consumption survey to estimate how many individuals live in such vulnerable households among 342 million residents in 21 countries: Croatia, Poland and Hungary, and the euro area except for Spain. The methodology section below provides details on the population considered.
Ability to afford food and utilities
According to our estimates, without privately earned income, 29.6 million individuals would be unable to afford one month's supply of food at home and payment of basic utilities. This number climbs to 41.6 million for a period of two months...

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