Consumer confidence rose in the first quarter of this year, according to the latest edition of the ‘Concerns & Spending Intentions’ report from Nielsen.
The study found that global consumer confidence increased 2 pts on the last quarter to 96, while Europe’s score also rose 2 pts to 75. Ireland’s consumer confidence increased 5 pts to 82 this quarter.
Commenting on the findings Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen said, “With global consumer confidence at a seven-year high, it marks a significant milestone for the longest recession since the Great Depression. A global sentiment moves to one of cautious stability. As recovery continues, signs of optimism are increasing.”
Job security remains Ireland's biggest concern (-2% pts), followed by increasing utility bills (+1%pt) and debt (+2% pts). Those feeling job prospects are good/excellent increased to 32% (+6% pts), while a significant 39% are optimistic about their personal finances (-1%pt). Readiness to spend has increased four percentage points to 33%.
The Nielsen report found that 26% say they have no spare cash once essential living expenses have been covered (-2%pts). The majority continue to put any spare cash they do have into savings (+5%pts). Interestingly, in terms of household saving strategies this quarter compared to the previous; 68% say they have switched to cheaper grocery brands (+1%pt) while 36% say they have cut down or buy cheaper brands of alcohol (+6%pts).