Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, there are reasons to be optimistic about the future with most Irish consumers believing their personal finances were not impacted negatively and many are making plans to spend more and treat themselves, a B&A survey for TAM Ireland indicates. Twice as many people plan to spend more as businesses reopen as expect to spend less.
Half of all Irish adults report that their personal finances have remained the same since the start of the crisis, with one in six reporting an improvement in their personal finances. Six in 10 adults have managed to build up cash reserves by saving money since March – a positive indication of a potential spending boost once restrictions are lifted.
Given the onset of the crisis during the typical holiday booking season, it is not surprising that six in 10 adults had to cancel an overseas holiday. Of the 60 per cent of adults who had to cancel a holiday because of the crisis, 44 per cent said they expect to spend the money they saved on other products and services in Ireland instead.
Purchases being planned for the next six months include household furnishings/goods and home improvements, purchasing or re-purchasing car insurance and buying health insurance. Buying Irish and shopping local has become more common with 43 per cent of adults upping their buying of Irish brands from smaller local shops and suppliers.
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. One in six of Irish consumers are also planning on shedding a few pounds as the country emerges from hibernation. The study shows a big trust in TV for news, information and advertising.
It is set against a backdrop of increased TV viewing with April showing a jump of 11 per cent year-on-year for Irish adults aged 15 and over. The study shows the significant increases in those working from home, furloughed and made unemployed since lockdown. Full-time working from home is most evident among 18-49 year old in the ABC1 cohort.
Under 35s are more likely to have become jobless due to Covid-19, while working part-time from home is far more prevalent among women. TAM Ireland hired B&A to conduct a nationally representative survey of just over 300 Irish adults from the Acumen Panel to get a picture of people’s personal finances, purchase intent and view of the media.
It is the first of five studies coinciding with the reopening of Ireland.
The field work was conducted last month, from May 22–25.