This probably won’t be much of a surprise unless you have spent the last few months with your head in the sand, but recent figures show that consumer confidence dropped further in Northern Ireland as high prices for food and goods, along with high fuel and energy bills, really hit home. The whole of the UK is suffering and Northern Ireland is certainly no exception to this trend.
Consumer Confidence Index Drops Significantly
According to the latest analysis by The Danske Bank, the Consumer Confidence Index dropped to a reading of 103 in the 2nd quarter of this year, this compares to a reading of 117 in the 1st quarter, which is quite a significant decrease. And compared to a reading of 149 in the 2nd quarter of last year, you can see how drastically people are beginning to have grave doubts over how things are going to progress over the next few months.
Danske Bank chief economist Conor Lambe is quoted in an article on the Insider Media website as saying:
“In June, the month our survey was conducted, the rate of inflation in the UK hit a multi-decade high of 9.4 per cent as a combination of factors including higher fuel and energy prices and global supply chain disruption continued to put upward pressure on prices.
“This high inflation was the largest driver of the fall in consumer confidence and, looking forward, it’s likely that consumer price inflation will rise even higher with price pressures further up the supply chain also at elevated levels.
“Given the higher prices currently being experienced and the expectation that inflation could move even higher, it’s likely that consumer spending in Northern Ireland and the wider UK will become increasingly squeezed. As such, the performance of the overall economy is expected to soften as we move through the remainder of 2022 and into 2023.”
Consumers Feeling Less Secure About Finances & Job Security
None of this of course is good news for businesses up and down the country, as well as the public at large. The survey noted that consumers were feeling less secure about their current finances as well as their projected finances in the near future, they were also concerned about their job security and overall responded that they were going to spend less on more expensive items than they previously had done. The economic landscape is going to be tough for the rest of this year and this is likely to continue unfortunately into 2023.