The survey highlighted the differences between the genders in purchasing underwear. While the majority of Czech women buy their own, almost 60 percent of men surveyed admit to not having bought a single pair in the last twelve months. Another 60 percent were unable to name any brands of underwear. Most Czech men, it appears, prefer to let their mothers, sisters, wives, and girlfriends do the shopping. To see if the report was accurate, I conducted my own decisively non-scientific research on the streets of Prague. Most of the men preferred not to air their dirty laundry in public, but the braver ones that I spoke to confessed that they do not shop for their boxers and briefs on their own.
"Now I think I buy my underwear with my girlfriend. I want to be nice for she. So I think I fit in these 60 percent of those men who don't buy their underwear. Most of it buys my mother. I have been few times with my girlfriend. We have picked up some nice underwear for us. I have never bought underwear by myself."
How this compares with the rest of the world is unclear, since statistics on the underwear of foreign men were unavailable.
On a more serious note, the survey, which looked at consumer habits in many different fields, also showed the low public confidence in financial institutions. Even though the Czech economy is finally growing after years of recession, confidence in banks and other financial institutions remains low. Only fifty percent of those surveyed had any kind of checking or saving account. Pavel Dokulil, the Project Manager for the organization, comments:
"Forty-five percent of our people save money at home, put it aside, 'under the mattress,' as it were. In fact this phenomenon has increased in recent years. It is a result of a growing suspicion of financial institutions."
The report also suggests that two-thirds of Czechs expect inflation to increase, showing pessimism over the economic direction that their country is taking. However, Czechs do seem to be more optimistic than their Slovak neighbors. A full 95 percent of Slovaks interviewed expect inflation to increase.
The statistics do bring some good news. There is a steady upward trend in the Czech rates of investment and savings. Twice as many Czechs are using the Internet to shop than last year. But the survey failed to report whether Internet underwear sales have increased as well.
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