New research by TAM Ireland, which was conducted by B&A, sheds some light on the finances of Irish consumers during the Covid-19 lockdown, their purchase intent and their views of the media.
The nationally representative survey of over 300 Irish adults is the first of five studies that will coincide with the reopening of Ireland as restrictions are lifted. Not surprisingly, the survey found increases in the number of individuals working from home, furloughed and made unemployed are evident since the onset of Covid-19.
Full-time working from home is most evident amongst those aged 18-49 years and from an ABC1 socio-economic background. Those aged under 35 years are more likely than the average individual to have been made unemployed due to Covid-19, while working part-time from home is significantly more prevalent amongst females than males.
Half of all Irish adults actually report that their personal finances have remained the same since the beginning of the Covid 19 crisis, a third report their personal finances have disimproved, with one in six (presumably those on Government support) actually reporting an improvement in their personal finances.
Six in ten have managed to build up cash reserves by way of saving money since the beginning of the crisis – a positive indication of a potential spending boost once restrictions are lifted. The research also shows that twice as many individuals expect to spend more money as businesses reopen as expect to spend less – another positive indicator of the likely economic boost when things begin to return to a ‘new normal’.
Given the onset of the crisis during the typical holiday booking season, it is perhaps not surprising that six in ten of all adults had to cancel an overseas holiday as a direct result. Of the 60% of adults who had to cancel any type of holiday because of the crisis, 44% expect to spend the money they saved on other products and services in Ireland instead, according to the research.
Some of the key purchases being planned for the next six months include household furnishings/goods and home improvements, purchasing (re-purchasing?) car insurance, and buying health insurance. The research also noted that younger people in particular are planning to treat themselves once all or most of the Covid 19 restrictions are lifted, with significant retail therapy also in the offing. 1 in 6 of us are also planning on shedding weight as we emerge from hibernation.
In terms of media consumption habit, TV has been by far the single most important source of news and information during the Covid-19 crisis. The power of TV as a reliable and trusted source of information and entertainment remains strong across all demographic groupings. The research also shows that TV has been by far the most trusted source of advertising during the Covid 19 crisis, followed at some remove by radio.