A slight improvement in the Consumer Mood in January, as concerns over the rising cost of living ease, especially with regard to energy costs. However, a majority of consumers still remain concerned about the outlook for the Irish economy


Consumer mood shows signs of improvement

The RED C Consumer Mood is at -35 in January 2024, up six points from the previous wave in October 2023. While this is a modest improvement overall, it does appear to reflect an easing of concerns over the rising cost of living in Ireland, especially when it comes to energy prices.

A deceleration in the rate of inflation over the last 12 months is no doubt tempering concerns about future increases in the cost of living. Recent announcements by most of the energy suppliers that they will cut prices is also likely to be a factor.

Easing inflationary pressures also seem to be leading to some improvement in expectations for discretionary disposable income. Aligned with this, there is a modest improvement in expected spend on entertainment, consumer goods and holidays.

While a majority of consumers still remain concerned about the outlook for the Irish economy, there are clearly signs that consumers are becoming that bit more optimistic. A consideration here, however, is how the global economy will perform and the potential for disruption from ongoing geopolitical uncertainty.

Plans for spend in 2024

In this wave of the RED C Consumer Mood Monitor, we asked consumers what specifically they plan to spend money on in 2024. Home improvements and holidays top the list as the most popular items for expenditure – well over half of all consumers are planning on some type of home improvements like paint and decorating, while almost half are planning to holiday abroad in 2024.

We also find …

  • around one-in-ten 25-44 year olds plan to buy a home
  • over one-in-four parents / guardians will spend money on sending their kids to college and/or private school fees
  • one-in-five plan to buy a mobile phones, smart watches and other personal electronics and gadgets – this rises to more than one-in-three (36%) for 18-24 year olds
  • one-in-ten plan to buy a car / motorbike


Finally, many people that are pessimistic about the outlook for the Irish economy are not necessarily holding off on major spending plans – around two-thirds (67%) are planing on home improvements and just under half (46%) are planning on going on holiday in 2024.

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