While consumer confidence has increased, optimism in both job prospects and economic stability are both on the decline amongst Irish shoppers, according to a new report by Nielsen.
The Ireland’s Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions report for Q1 2015 found that with an index of 92, Consumer Confidence has increased by 2 points in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the previous quarter, and has jumped 10 points versus the same time last year.
Ireland’s economic growth rate is currently the fastest in Europe, and household wealth is as its highest level since 2008, while the unemployment rate has dropped 1.6% points to 10.0%.
Nielsen also reports that Irish Business Sentiment is at an eight-year high, as more firms express confidence in the future direction of the Irish economy.
However, at the same time, the percentage of consumers that feel Ireland is 'still in a recession' has gone from 66% in Q4 of 2014 to 72% in Q1 2015. Meanwhile, 59% are of the opinion that the recession will continue into next year.
The top concern for Irish shoppers is that of Job Security, with 15% citing it as a concern, followed by Debt and Health with 12% and 10% respectively. Even though the number of those with ‘no spare cash’ has decreased from the last quarter to just over a fifth, 23% still say they have nothing to spend after covering the necessities.
When it comes to lifestyle changes to save money, 69% of respondents have changed their spending habits to reduce household expenses and 60% have switched to cheaper grocery brands, with 27% opting to cut down on alcohol or choose lower cost drinks.
When it comes to readiness to spend, half of all consumers feel that their finances are either 'good' or 'excellent', and 38% think that now is a good time to spend on the things they want and need.
A large portion (37%) are opting to put their spare cash into savings, although 30% are splashing out on holidays and 29% on new clothes. Paying off debt remains a priority for 28% with leftover money from their everyday expenses.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan