Consumers upbeat over economy, poll shows

People more optimistic than at any time since economic collapse

Red C’s  latest report shows that for the first time in more than five years more people believe the economy will improve over the next six months instead of worsening. Photograph: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

Red C’s latest report shows that for the first time in more than five years more people believe the economy will improve over the next six months instead of worsening. Photograph: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

Fri, Jun 21, 2013, 14:48

The summer of 2013 may mark the beginning of the end of the worst recession in the history of the State, with Irish consumers now more optimistic than at any time since the economic collapse five years ago, a survey published today indicates.

Red C has been tracking consumer sentiment quarterly since 2008, and its latest report shows that for the first time in more than five years more people believe the economy will improve over the next six months instead of worsening.

Almost three quarters of those polled said they believed the economy would not get worse over the next six months, while a third said economic circumstances would actually improve by the end of the year.

Just one in 10 people said they believe the state of the economy will get much worse over the next six months - down from a high of 30 per cent in the last quarter of 2010.

Positive outlook

People aged between 18 and 34 and those over 65 have the most positive outlook, with 83 per cent of the latter group telling researchers they believed the economy would either stay the same or improve over the next six months. Meanwhile, 73 per cent of adults under 34 think the worst of the recession is now over.

The most gloomy people are those aged between 45 and 64, with 64 per cent in this bracket expressing optimism about the state of the economy.

Confidence in the housing and jobs market is also returning, with a third of consumers expressing the belief house prices will rise over the next six months and two thirds saying the employment market will either improve or stay the same between now and the end of the year.

A separate survey published by property website myhome.ie shows the recession is continuing to have a major effect on Irish people’s holiday plans, with 41 per cent of those pooled saying they have changed their holiday plans due to deteriorating financial circumstances, compared with just 20 per cent last year.

Nearly 10 per cent said they would be holidaying at home because they could no longer afford an overseas holiday, while 13 per cent said they wouldn’t be taking any holiday this year.