Confidence growing slowly over return to shops and restaurants

Research shows strong increase in consumers’ intention to spend on travel

Research suggests the number of consumers who say they will feel safer visiting physical stores is up by 4 per cent. File photograph: iStock

Research suggests the number of consumers who say they will feel safer visiting physical stores is up by 4 per cent. File photograph: iStock

 

Irish people appear to be slowly growing more confident when it comes to visiting physical shops, meeting people face to face, eating in restaurants, going to events and even travelling, according to a fresh piece of research published today.

Deloitte Ireland’s latest State of the Consumer Tracker suggests that for the second consecutive month, consumer confidence in a range of activities prohibited or discouraged under Level 5 restrictions has climbed.

The research suggests the number of consumers who say they will feel safer visiting physical stores is up by 4 per cent, while confidence in engaging in person-to-person services and going to a restaurant has increased by the same percentage. Confidence in attending in-person events has climbed by 6 per cent.

Overall concern for their own physical wellbeing is down by 3 per cent, while concern around the health of family members is down by 1 per cent and concern around returning to the workplace has fallen by 4 per cent.

Travel intentions

A strong increase has been recorded in consumers’ intention to spend on travel, up 6 per cent on the previous wave of Deloitte research. Confidence in air travel also increased by 4 per cent while confidence in staying in hotels climbed by 3 per cent.

There were increases across the board in those planning to travel for leisure over the next three months, with those intending to travel by rail up by 7 per cent, those planning to avail of private holiday accommodation up by 6 per cent and those intending to rent a car for leisure travel up by 5 per cent.

The percentage of people saying they intended to take an international flight was up by 5 per cent despite the ongoing restrictions on overseas travel.

However, concerns around money and jobs are also mounting when compared to a previous wave of research, with 6 per cent of those polled more concerned about making upcoming payments than they were a month ago and an additional 3 per cent saying they were more concerned about losing their jobs.

“As the vaccine rollout gathers momentum and the reopening of many sectors is firmly back on the agenda, it is very encouraging to see that Irish consumers are feeling safer at the prospect of engaging in in-person activities,” said Deloitte’s Daniel Murray.

“As more people get vaccinated, consumer confidence will grow as we move forward and, hopefully, continue to move away from heavy restrictions and towards a new, post-pandemic Ireland. ”