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Reflecting Ireland: An insight into consumer behavioural change in Ireland – Looking forward to 2024

10 January 2024

A year on and many of the same concerns, hopes and priorities remain for people in Ireland. The public mood appears more positive than last year, when we faced a winter of rising energy prices and global uncertainty. The perceived risk of a recession has also reduced and a majority expect to get by financially, even if it is a squeeze.

Concerns about our healthcare system are top of mind, perhaps contributing to a growing sense for some that Ireland is becoming a worse place to grow old in.

Many of our hopes and priorities remain consistent. A healthy lifestyle is a priority for most this year but fewer people are focused on losing weight – are we shifting how we think about our health?

Life in Ireland

  • 72% of us agree that Ireland is a good place to grow up in – down by 2% versus last year. Over half (56%) feel Ireland is a good country to grow old in – down from 61% in 2022.
  • Our natural environment, welcoming nature and cultural strengths are cited as the best things about living in Ireland.
  • Our healthcare system, crime situation and political system are seen as the worst things about living in Ireland.
  • There are increased concerns about the standard of policing versus last year, particularly among older age groups.

Managing our finances in 2024

  • Just under half (46%) of people expect there will be a recession this year. Though sizeable, it is significantly less than those who said the same last year (67%).
  • The majority expect to get by in managing their day-to-day finances and are prepared to reduce their spending to combat the dost-of-living crisis.
  • Most plan to reduce discretionary spending across all categories this year – particularly those in the ‘squeezed middle’.
  • The majority plan on saving this year, with preparing for a ‘rainy day’ cited as the main motivation, followed by holidays and home improvements.

What will motivate us in 2024?

  • The top personal goals for Irish people remain consistent with last year’s findings, with most aiming to sort their finances out and get fitter and healthier.
  • Fewer people plan on losing weight and getting fitter versus last year, while more plan on being more environmentally friendly.
  • Deepening relationships with friends and family is a main motivator for Irish people into 2024, though slightly less so than last year.

The public mood in 2024

  • Nearly half of us (47%) expect the national economic situation to deteriorate over the next 12 months. Only 16% believe it will improve.
  • From a personal perspective, over half (54%) say they are worse off compared to this time last year. Looking a year ahead, 37% expect to be worse off while 23% hold a positive view.
  • The cost-of-living crisis remains the dominant concern for Irish people with anxiety the most reported emotion when considering life in Ireland in 2024.

Download the full #ReflectingIreland report here.

Read tips on getting on top of your finances for 2024 here.

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