AIn the evening several friends sit on the banks of the Main in Frankfurt and discuss loudly. All are under 30 years old, all have a bottle of beer in their hand, they argue for a long time and only have one topic: inflation. One of them complains that the flights for vacation in London are so expensive. Then the other one says that the furniture for the new apartment with the boyfriend suddenly costs a lot more.
The rising prices are occupying the whole nation. Young people are particularly alarmed. 72 percent of people under the age of 30 worry about inflation, more than people in other age groups. This is shown by a study by the opinion research institute Forsa on behalf of the online broker Flatex Degiro, the results of which are exclusively available to the FAS. Among those who are 60 years of age or older, the higher prices are less of a concern. 57 percent are alarmed.
What is happening to society?
In the survey, the pollsters analyze in detail how the Germans react to the price increases. It is particularly striking that the young people often differed from the older people in their answers. On the one hand, young people are more concerned about the development.
On the other hand, no other segment of the population restricts itself so seldom and refrains as little as they do. They are also more likely than older people to believe that their money is well protected from falling in value. Many of them want to stick to their investment strategy. And they are more optimistic about the stock markets.
Greater inflation concerns with less concern? At first glance, that doesn’t add up. So how is this apparent contradiction to be explained? And if, according to their own statements, it is not so much about the money: What do the boys worry about then?
Luise, 26 years old and a student, assesses the situation like most of her generation. She explains her discomfort as follows: “Up to now, I have not known any inflation. But I’ve read in history books how high inflation used to create social tensions. That worries me a lot.”
If you ask around young people on the street, on the university campus or in the shopping mall, the same concerns keep popping up: what is inflation doing to our society, is it causing more divisions? What about pensioners, what about single parents who are particularly affected by inflation? A young woman talks about her single mother, who has little money and whom she worries about. And will prices ever stop going up? The inflation rate in May was already almost 8 percent. Can anyone get a handle on this?
Young people react more emotionally
The view of the big picture is bleak for many. They catch the headlines on social media, they hear how their parents and grandparents are concerned about the topic. Rising prices, that never sounds good. “When the older people have worries, the young sometimes perceive this much more intensely than the worries of the older people actually are,” says generation researcher Rüdiger Maas.