Plans to spend in all areas show an uplift in consumer confidence : Deloitte Report

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Plans to spend in all areas show an uplift in consumer confidence : Deloitte Report

Large increases in discretionary spending plans in Ireland, highlight a major uplift in consumer confidence, according to Deloitte Ireland’s latest State of the Consumer Tracker.

The survey also shows that financial concerns are easing, as concerns around health start to decrease. Consumers continue to feel safer across the board, with two in three now happy to engage in person-to-person services.

The re-opening of non-essential shops in mid-May – after almost four full months shuttered – has signalled a bounce in spending intent on many of these goods including furniture (up 12%), clothing and footwear (up 13%), electronics (up 9%). Plans to purchase alcohol also increased by 5% - likely aided by the re-opening of bars and restaurants on June 7th and balmy weather, while cable TV services saw a rise of 5% month-on-month. Intent to spend in restaurants and takeaways saw a bounce of 13% - the first time this sector has seen an increase, since the tracker started in May 2020.

Commenting on the latest results Daniel Murray, Partner and Head of Consumer at Deloitte said: “Our research shows a very welcome uplift in consumer confidence, and it appears many people are looking forward to spending on themselves or family, home furnishings, trips away and meals in restaurants. The easing of restrictions throughout May, and earlier this month means the opportunities are there to do that, and this spending will boost the domestic economy.
“People are continuing with a preference for ‘click and collect’ - even now when stores are fully open - which may be for convenience or ongoing caution, but it could also signal the emergence of a new trend. The hospitality industry finally has some good news, with a significant increase in those planning to spend in a restaurant or stay in a hotel. Travel looks like it will also pick up, both within Ireland and from mid-July onwards, abroad.”

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 20 May and 26 May, as some of the lockdown restrictions in place since last December, were finally lifted.

Concerns and spending intent

Concern around the health of family members has decreased for the fifth survey in a row, now at 56% (down 2%), with 48% of consumers remaining concerned about their own physical well-being (down 3%). Consumers continue to feel safer across the board, with notable increases in those feeling safe engaging in person-to-person services (up 5% to 66%); going to a restaurant (up 8% to 48%) and attending in-person events (up 5% to 27%) and staying in a hotel (up 4% to 48%).

Consumers’ financial concerns remain stable, with no change in those delaying large purchases (38%); a 1% rise in those concerned about making upcoming payments (20%) and a 4% decrease in those concerned about returning to the workplace (24%).
As financial concerns plateau, consumers’ spending intent on more discretionary items over the next four weeks, compared to the previous four weeks, has increased majorly. Although there have been increases in those choosing to shop ‘in-store’ across the board, ‘online-picked up’ remains a stable intended shopping channel for these items.

Travel, hospitality & tourism

The tracker shows an increase in confidence in air travel - up 3% to 33%, the fifth such increase in a row – while there has been some increase in those planning to travel for leisure in the next three months. This includes an increase of those who plan to travel to a hotel (up 7% to 33%), while those intending to travel by rail is up 6% to 27%. Those planning to take an international flight is also up 2% to 23%.

Consumer sentiment towards purchasing a vehicle online has increased to 19% (up 5%).
There has been an increase in those putting off regular vehicle maintenance (up 5% to 27%). Consumers planning to limit their use of public transit is down 2% to 51%, while 50% of those surveyed expect to use/order a taxi in the next three months

Article Published: 22/06/2021