Increase in spending intention across all categories
- Increase in consumer confidence in person-to-person services
- Significant increase in intent to spend on discretionary items
- Good news for tourism and hospitality sectors as confidence increases
- 51% willing to spend more on locally-sourced products
- 8% increase in those who feel safe going to a restaurant
There has been an increase in consumer confidence in person-to-person services, according to Deloitte Ireland’s latest State of the Consumer Tracker, as 56% of those surveyed said they feel confident engaging with these kinds of services, up 7% on the previous wave of research.
There was an overall reduction in anxiety among Irish consumers, a decrease of 6% since the previous wave of research, conducted two weeks earlier. Despite this reduction, Irish consumers have the third-highest anxiety levels in Europe, after Poland and Italy.
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 26 November and 2 December, while Covid-19 restrictions eased to Level 3 nationally on a phased basis from 1 December.
Commenting on the latest results, Daniel Murray, Partner and Head of Consumer at Deloitte Ireland, said,
Signs of an overall increase in consumer confidence and spending intent give hope that this will be a busy Christmas period for retailers after a uniquely challenging year. The findings of the latest survey also indicate that many Irish consumers are making conscious decisions to spend pent-up savings from the year at local businesses, which will provide a welcome boost.
While consumer confidence has been boosted by promising news on vaccines and the emergence from Level 5 restrictions earlier this month, cases of Covid-19 have since continued to rise – how this plays out over the holiday period will have a direct impact on confidence heading into 2021. What has emerged, however, is a renewed brand loyalty from many who are willing to spend their money with businesses that have responded well to the challenges posed this year. Consumers are acutely aware of the economic impact of the pandemic and this is likely to continue to influence their spending decisions in the long term.
Concerns & spending intent
Consumers’ concern for their personal physical wellbeing remained the same at 53%, while concern for the health of their family members decreased slightly, down 2% to 63%. Concerns around returning to the workplace and around job loss were both down by 4% to 32% respectively.
Consumer confidence in engaging in person-to-person services was up by 7% to 56%. 40% reported feeling safe going to a restaurant, an increase of 8%.
There was a significant increase in spending intention on groceries (up 13%) and large increases were also recorded in spending intention on more discretionary items such as clothing and footwear (up 35%), restaurants / take-aways (up 32%), alcohol (up 22%) and electronics (up 13%).
There was an increase in consumer confidence in visiting physical stores, with 64% saying they would feel confident in doing so, up 3% since the last wave of research. Consumers reported that they intended to use shopping instore mainly for electronics (up 5% to 48%) and clothing (up 9% to 52%), with 46% responding that it’s cheaper than paying for delivery.
51% reported that they would be happy to spend a little more money on products that are sourced locally. This was up slightly compared to 50% in the last wave. 43% said that they have purchased more from brands that have responded well to the crisis, up 3% since the last wave.
Travel, hospitality & tourism
There was a significant increase of 26% in intent to spend on travel and
a 10% increase in those planning to travel to a hotel for leisure in the next
three months. Confidence in air travel increased by 3% to 26% and confidence in
staying in a hotel has increased by 3% to 40%. In spite of this, 44% do not
think it is safe to stay in a hotel right now, with 42% holding off on taking a
holiday until the pandemic situation improves.
There were decreases in those intending to limit their use of public
transport (61%, down 9%) and ride-hailing (55%, down 9%) over the next three
There was a decrease of 5% in those wishing to purchase their next
vehicle online if available. 59% intend to keep their vehicle longer than
originally planned (down 1%) with 60% believing their car is fine and doesn’t
need to be replaced (up 4%).
The travel and hospitality sectors will be pleased with the upswing in confidence expressed by consumers in this wave. While 42% of respondents are holding off on taking holidays, an increase of 26% of respondents expressed intent to spend on travel, along with a 10% increase in those planning to travel to a hotel for leisure in the next three months, which will come as welcome news.
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 26 November to 2 December 2020.
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