Consumer confidence static despite falling prices

in Business, Consumer Skills, Cost of Living

The Consumer Council has warned that nearly half of consumers here struggle to keep up with bills and financial commitments.  Today’s announcement comes as the Consumer Council launches its second wave of ‘Consumer Outlook’ research.

Aodhan O Donnell, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council said: “Our latest round of consumer outlook research shows that consumer confidence is static and three-quarters of those surveyed believe they are not feeling the ‘green shoots’ of recovery.  Despite some household costs such as heating, food and fuel decreasing, consumers are not feeling the price drop in their pocket just yet.

“The ‘kitchen table’ economy, in terms of managing the household budget is what matters most to consumers.  Consumers have told us that hearing things are getting better and feeling it in their pocket are two different things.  Confident and optimistic consumers are critical to securing a sustainable economic recovery as consumer spending contributes around 60 per cent to the value of our economy.

Aodhan concluded: “Although consumers are doing better in some areas such as managing their money, they remain nervous about job security, wage stagnation and public spending cuts. The total number of consumers worried about making ends meets now and in the future has increased and one in three believe they are worse off now than two years ago.  This is a concern for consumer confidence and economic recovery.  Overall, consumers seem to be waiting to see if the current improvements can be sustained in the longer term”.

 The ‘Consumer Outlook’ index tracks consumer optimism about the local economy every six months.  This research provides an insight into how consumers are coping financially, their spending priorities, areas of concern, financial security and overall consumer confidence.

 

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