Irish Lifestyles - Ireland - July 2009
After a prolonged period of wealth and opportunity, Irish consumers are still coming to terms with the new economic and social reality of recession. Unprecedented levels of employment, rising incomes and buoyant consumer confidence have given way to almost daily announcements of additional job losses, pay freezes (or cuts), ever-bleaker economic forecasts and close to all-time lows in consumer confidence.
Albeit to varying extents, consumers of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds are feeling the effects of recession – personally, professionally and financially. In this new economic and social order, it was inevitable that Irish lifestyles would change. In place of extravagant spending and living for today have emerged price-consciousness, budgeting and saving for a (now expected) rainy day. However, although the recession has caused a sudden halt to some consumer trends and patterns, it has served to accelerate others that were already under way or emerging.
However, Mintel’s research indicates that the Irish experience of the current economic downturn has, so far, been very much a tale of two economies. While RoI consumers appear to be in a state of recession-induced shock, NI consumers are coping much better. Almost a quarter of all RoI consumers claim that the recession will force ‘major changes’ to their lifestyle going forward, while just one in ten NI consumers believe this will be the case.
What have been the main consumer-related effects of the current economic downturn – in terms of income, spending and confidence?
The impact of the recession on individuals and, more generally, society.
What effect has the recession had on specific sectors and markets, notably leisure, finance and retail, in general?
What are the likely long-term, lasting effects of the recession in terms of consumer attitudes and spending patterns?
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