Optimistic Irish Consumers Prioritise Affordability, Health, Study Finds

By Dayeeta Das
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Optimistic Irish Consumers Prioritise Affordability, Health, Study Finds

Irish consumers are focusing on affordability and health while remaining optimistic about the future, according to the latest edition of the EY Global Consumer Index.

Around 62% of consumers are 'extremely concerned' about the cost of living, while 85% are extremely or moderately concerned about their physical health. Moreover, 79% are concerned about their mental wellbeing.

However, they remain optimistic, with 57% saying they feel in control of their lives, and 50% expressing confidence about the future over the next three years.

Consumer Optimism

EY added that consumer optimism is an encouraging sign as it suggests a positive outlook towards the future despite existing challenges.

This sentiment is crucial for businesses to consider, as it indicates a market that, while price-sensitive, is also forward-looking and open to embracing changes that align with consumers’ expectations for a better tomorrow, the study noted.


Dr Loretta O’Sullivan, chief economist and partner at EY Ireland, stated, “It’s been a tough period for many households, but there are grounds for cautious optimism about the future. We are already seeing energy providers reducing prices and a slower pace of food inflation, and the European Central Bank has just cut interest rates. These are welcome developments, as is the continuing strength of the labour market.

“Jobs are being created and wages are rising, signalling an uplift in consumers’ financial situations. This is reflected in our research findings, with 42% of respondents expecting to be better off in a year’s time. All of which gives us reason to believe that consumer spending growth is in prospect for Ireland.”

Global Outlook

The sentiment among Irish consumers echoes EY's global survey, which revealed that 55% of respondents are 'extremely concerned' about the rising cost of living.

In addition, 82% are concerned about their physical health, and 74% are worried about their mental wellbeing.


Consumer Trends

Irish shoppers are shifting towards essential purchases and cheaper options, with 42% saying that they have either stopped or reduced purchases of certain products, or had switched to less expensive alternatives.

Half of consumers (50%) in Ireland are happy buying affordable versions of popular or high-end brands, compared with 34% at a global level, data showed.

Moreover, 49% of Irish respondents said brands are not important while making a purchasing decision.

An equal percentage said they were willing to cook at home more frequently.

Sixty percent of Irish shoppers have used a coupon, voucher, or discount code provided by a retailer while shopping online. On a global level, this figure stands at 46%.

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