It has been a rollercoaster ride for consumer confidence over the last two years. Having just about made a full recovery from the decline brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest edition of the RED C Consumer Mood Monitor for April 2022 shows it has taken yet another dive downwards and is back to its lowest level since October 2020, mid-pandemic. With the ongoing war in Ukraine, consumers are also less optimistic about the outlook for the global economy.

At the heart of the decline in consumer confidence is a very high degree of concern over the outlook for the cost of living. This is having a negative impact on consumer’s quality of life and is affecting their behaviour, with almost three-in-four claiming to have made changes to their food shopping. In the face of rising prices, most consumers expect the cost of borrowing to rise in the coming months.

Critically, the increase in the cost of living means consumers expect to have less money left over after paying their bills, with more than four-in-five expecting their discretionary disposable income to decline over the next six months. This will no doubt have an impact on consumer spending, especially parts of the economy that have suffered considerably from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions e.g. retail and hospitality.

On the plus side, consumers are much less concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost 4-in-5 expect the pandemic situation to stay the same or fare better in the next six months. Where some concern still exists, this tends to be higher for women and those in the C2DE social class group. But for now when it comes to consumer confidence, COVID-19 is to a large extent being put to the back of people’s minds.

Download the full report on the latest RED C Consumer Mood Monitor here:

Consumer Mood Monitor April 2022