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Rising Cost of Living Squeezes Majority of Ordinary Irish Citizens

Dublin: The rising cost of living is increasingly burdening the majority of ordinary people in Ireland. The EY Future Consumer Index, along with a recent CSO survey, reveals the shifting consumer sentiments and behaviours worldwide, including those in Ireland.

Geopolitical conflicts, climate change, and personal financial issues are major concerns for the populace.

A survey of 23,000 consumers across 30 countries, including Ireland, paints a stark picture of current lifestyles. It found that 62% of Irish households and 55% of households globally are struggling with the cost of living.

Rising prices of essential items such as energy, groceries, and healthcare are causing significant distress. As a result, consumers have adapted by making various lifestyle changes to cut costs.

These adjustments include minimising food waste, repairing appliances instead of buying new ones, cooking at home rather than dining out, and reducing purchases of clothes, shoes, accessories, takeaways, and alcohol.

Despite these challenges, 50% of respondents remain optimistic about the future, with only 23% expressing pessimism. Additionally, 40% believe that conditions will improve within a year.

Dr. Loretta O’Sullivan, Chief Economist at EY Ireland, notes that optimism is partly fueled by expectations of falling energy and food prices and potential interest rate cuts by the European Central Bank.

The survey also indicates a decline in Irish consumers’ trust in brands, with nearly 50% willing to switch to new labels to find better alternatives, a figure significantly higher than the global average of 34%.

Furthermore, 60% of those surveyed had used an online discount code in the past six months, and over 40% had participated in a retailer’s rewards programme.

These findings highlight the resilience and adaptability of consumers in the face of economic challenges while underscoring the need for continued support and effective policy measures to alleviate financial pressures.

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