Inflation is the number-one concern among the Irish public, research shows.
According to the latest Bank of Ireland Savings and Investment Index, there has also been a significant drop in the proportion of consumers who feel that they are saving enough.
This reflects the impact of rising prices and the back-to-school costs faced by many households, Bank of Ireland noted.
The index indicated that both the war in Ukraine and Covid have dropped back considerably on the list of top concerns.
The war in Ukraine dropped from 32% in May 2022 to 17% in August, while Covid has almost dropped off the list of concerns, with just 3% seeing it as their biggest concern below climate change (16%), a global recession (14%) and the cost of housing (12%).
Commenting on the research, Kevin Quinn, chief investment strategist, Bank of Ireland, said, “Rising inflation is having a significant impact on how people view their finances – so much so that, despite the challenges presented by Covid and the Russia-Ukraine war, the impact of rising prices is possibly the most significant in the past three years, in terms of how people view saving and investing.”
Concerns Between Generations
The index also continued to highlight the growing differences in concerns between generations.
Inflation and the cost of living rank highest among 30- to 59-year-olds and 16- to 29-year-olds, and while it increased significantly amongst the 60+ age group, this age bracket was alone in ranking the war in Ukraine as top of their concerns.
“Our survey also illustrated the different strains faced by different age groups. Working-age and younger consumers are the most impacted by the rise in the cost of living – at least thus far,” Quinn added.
“With investment markets being so volatile right now – even despite gains made in the summer months – consumers remain nervous about the wider economic environment, and there is a conservative tone, which reflects the conversations we are having with so many customers.”