With Christmas just around the corner, almost a quarter (24 percent) of Irish shoppers plan to travel across the border to Northern Ireland to avail of the weaker Sterling, according to the latest Recovery Index report by the leading business and credit risk analyst, Vision-net.ie.
Over 45 percent of that cohort will be doing so for the first time, with those in the 25-34 age bracket most likely to make the journey. A further 22 percent are still undecided.
71 percent of Irish consumers plan to make a major financial purchase before the end of 2017; of that number, only 9 percent plan to do so before the end of this year.
Of those not planning to make a significant purchase, 54 percent that a lack of available finances was the biggest contributing factor to their decision (up from 46 percent in June), followed by not wanting to purchase anything in particular (41 percent, compared to 28 percent in June); another 10 percent said they were putting off any big spending until 2018.
Lack of available finances disproportionately affects the 25-34 demographic, with 63 percent citing it as a factor. This number drops by ten to 53 percent in the 35-44 bracket.
The Recovery Index findings show that a holiday was the most common planned purchase for Irish consumers (53 percent), followed by a second-hand car (34 percent), home improvement (32 percent), new car (24 percent) and home purchase (12 percent).
Sources of finance
To fund their major purchase, 47 percent said they will use savings, 13 percent a loan, and 38 percent a combination of both. These findings remain broadly unchanged since the last Recovery Index in June.
59 percent said they will turn to their credit union to fund their major purchase, 40 percent to their bank and 15 percent a family member. Compared to June, these figures are up slightly across the board, perhaps pointing to Christmas spending and a more plentiful economy generating increased demand.
Females are more likely to use savings alone (50 percent compared to 44 percent of men), while men are more likely to use a combination of loans and savings (41 percent compared to 35 percent of women). Only 11 percent in the 25-34 age bracket would consider taking out a loan as their primary source of funding.
‘The 2016 Effect’
2016 was a year of political and economic upheaval, but when Irish consumers were asked if events like Brexit or the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency had affected their attitude to their finances, only 8 percent said they were saving more; 55 percent said they were saving the same amount.
Specifically regarding the election of Donald Trump, 36 percent said they believed that his presidency will affect their finances, 29 percent negatively and 7 percent positively. 22 percent said they did not anticipate an effect while 42 percent were unsure or didn’t know.