Vaccine roll out helps consumer confidence, but the impact of Brexit casts a further cloud
The latest RED C Consumer Mood Monitor from January 2021 shows small gains in consumer confidence from the lows seen in June and October 2020. But outlook remains bleak, with just 14% expecting the economy to improve in the next 6 months while 73% expect it to fare worse.
The growth in confidence is driven by newfound optimism in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic with a number of new vaccines now being available. Only 33% now expect the pandemic to get worse compared to 62% in October.
However, the outlook is still well below that of recent years, and is at similar levels seen after the global financial crash in 2012. These concerns are being driven in part by Brexit, with the majority (87%) concerned that Brexit will harm the Irish economy. Despite the announcement of a UK/EU trade deal, real life experience is driving ongoing concerns around Brexit. Almost two thirds (64%) have noticed more empty shelves and sold-out products, and half (50%) have had to pay more charges on goods from the UK since Brexit. Consumers are believe that Brexit will lead to higher prices (87%) and will reduce availability of certain goods in Ireland (81%).
Despite these fears, the small improvements in consumer confidence has led to more planning on increasing their spend on entertainment, travel and consumer goods. Fewer are anticipating having to spend more on groceries, and more are predicting having more money in the next 5 months.
Download the full report on the January 2021 RED C Consumer Mood Monitor here: