Anxiety levels among Irish consumers at lowest in a year – Deloitte report

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 Anxiety levels among Irish consumers at lowest in a year – Deloitte report

Anxiety levels among Irish consumers are at their lowest in a year, according to Deloitte Ireland’s latest State of the Consumer Tracker. For the third consecutive month, the survey recorded increases in consumer confidence in engaging in person-to-person services (up 9%), visiting physical stores (up 6%) and going to a restaurant (up 6%). Concerns around job loss were down by 9%, while consumers’ intent to spend on travel was up by 19%.

Deloitte’s State of the Consumer Tracker is a monthly survey which tracks Irish consumers’ attitudes towards personal wellbeing, financial concerns, travel and hospitality, transport and retail. The results are based on a survey of 1,000 consumers across 19 countries respectively (1,000 Irish consumers). The most recent data was gathered between 22 April and 28 April, as the country moved towards the first easing of Level 5 restrictions in over four months.

Commenting on the latest results, Daniel Murray, Partner and Head of Consumer at Deloitte Ireland, said, “A year on from our first State of the Consumer Tracker report, as our society and economy take the first steps towards reopening and the vaccine rollout continues at pace, it is very encouraging to see that consumer confidence continues to grow. The fact that consumers’ financial concerns are starting to ease in line with health concerns is particularly welcome, as many whose incomes have been impacted anticipate a return to work in the near term.
“As we look forward to engaging in-person once again, businesses should not lose sight of the lessons learned over the past year. Our research has highlighted in particular that the rapid digital adoption we have witnessed won’t just be reversed once restrictions are a thing of the past: digital must be a core component of all businesses’ offerings as the post-pandemic world begins to take shape.”

Concerns and spending intent
Irish consumers’ level of concern around their own physical wellbeing is consistent with the previous wave of research (up by 1%) conducted four weeks prior; however, their concern for the health of their family members has decreased by 6%.

Consumers reported feeling safer across the board, with notable increases in confidence in engaging in person-to-person services (up 9%), visiting physical stores (up 6%) and going to a restaurant (up 6%).

Financial concerns were also down, with consumers’ concerns around making upcoming payments down by 7% and a 4% decrease in those who said they were delaying large purchases.

The survey recorded increases in spending intent across many sectors, including on clothing and footwear (up by 15%), restaurants and take-aways (up by 20%) and housing (up by 3%). Decreases were recorded in spending intent on utilities (down by 8%), household goods (down by 3%) and cable TV (down by 6%).

Travel, hospitality & tourism
The survey recorded a significant increase in consumers’ intent to spend on travel, up 19% on the previous wave of research. Increases were also recorded in confidence in air travel (up by 3%) and confidence in staying at a hotel (up by 7%). There were also increases recorded in those planning to travel for leisure over the next three months, with those intending to stay at a hotel up by 10% and those planning to stay at private holiday accommodation up by 8%.

Consumer sentiment towards purchasing a vehicle online, which had grown during the pandemic, was down by 5%. There was also a decrease in those putting off regular vehicle maintenance (down by 10%) and those planning to limit their use of public transport (down by 6%) and ride hailing (down by 9%) over the next three months.

The number of those planning on keeping their current vehicle longer than they were originally expecting was down by 4%. There was a 4% decrease in the number of consumers who cited ‘working from home’ when asked why they would be keeping their vehicle longer than originally expected.

About the State of the Consumer Tracker
This monthly study is fielded using an online panel where consumers 18 years of age and older are invited to complete the survey (translated into local languages) via email. It is fielded in 19 countries (targeting 1,000 respondents per country/wave). The survey field period was 22 April to 28 April 2021.

Article Published: 18/05/2021