Consumer confidence at its highest level in almost three years
The latest RED C Consumer Mood Monitor for January 2022 shows Consumer confidence at its highest level in almost three years, buoyed on by the removal of most COVID-19 restrictions – yet concerns remain about the rising cost of living.
The fieldwork for this wave of the Consumer Mood Monitor was during the period 21st to 26th Jan, coinciding with the Government announcement to remove most COVID-19 restrictions – this clearly has played a role in the growing optimism amongst consumers regarding the outlook for the Irish economy.
Consumer confidence in the economy is now back above pre-pandemic levels and for the first time in 3½ years, the proportion of people expecting the economy to get better exceeds those that expect it to get worse. Clearly the mood amongst people is far more buoyant and upbeat than what it has been over the last two years.
Expectations for the jobs market have also dramatically improved in-line with the increase in consumer confidence as near normality returns to many sectors of the economy that have been adversely impacted during the pandemic (especially the hospitality and tourism sectors).
However, the vast majority of consumers remain worried about the rising cost of living. Concerns also remain high around Brexit, with over 4 in 5 believing it will harm the Irish economy, hardly changed in over 3 years.
Overall, the outlook for 2022 is positive, as consumers look to take advantage of the more benign COVID-19 environment. However, a post-pandemic boom in consumer spending (combined with external inflationary pressures) is likely to contribute to sustained upward pressure on costs / prices for the rest of this year.
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