With a series of domestic crises across housing, the cost of living and hospital over-crowding dominating much of the headlines over the last month, consumers are still hopeful as inflation rates and Covid numbers continue to drop according to the latest Consumer Mindset report published by Core.
According to the report’s author, Emma Kavanagh, research director, Core Research, “Levels of concern about the cost-of living crisis have decreased month-on-month and positive emotions such as happiness and hopefulness have increased in the same time period. Perhaps consumers are more comfort able with their capacity to manage finances now that the Christmas period is over?”
According to Kavanagh, the Credit Union Consumer Sentiment Index, which is run in partnership with Core Research, rose from 48.7 in December to 55.2 in January, putting the index at its strongest level since last June.
“As we continue to monitor the public mood, we will look to explore if this positivity is a temporary dip, quashed by the reality of many receiving their winter energy bill or if it signifies a more lasting upward trajectory for the mood of the nation,” she says.
According to the research, “people in Ireland are crediting some key stakeholders with acting affirmatively to help alleviate the pressures associated with the cost-of -living crisis. Public transport companies, other citizens and employers have tracked a positive net approval score over recent months. This month, supermarkets received a net positive score (+2%) for the first time in their response to managing inflation.”
“However, the public believe that the Government should be doing more to address the impact of the cost of living crisis, particularly when it comes to healthcare, public transport, childcare and fuel,” Kavanagh says.
She points out that the research also shows that some of the habits acquired during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 have remained. “During the pandemic we saw shifts in how people prioritised their time and energy. Flexibility to spend quality time with friends and family and positive physical and mental health became more important. These shifts appear to be permanent, with the public‘s main priorities remaining focused on their health (#1 priority) and spending time with loved ones (#2 priority),” she says.
“Core will be exploring the topic of health and wellbeing and what it means to people now in more detail in our HEALTH 23 Report which will be released in the coming weeks,” she concludes.
To download a copy of the Core Research click HERE