Consumers look set to cut back on spending this Christmas as the cost of living crisis takes hold.

EY Ireland’s latest Future Consumer Index shows 52% of respondents plan to spend less on non-essential goods.

37% say they will purchase less food for celebratory meals to avoid waste, and 44% plan to use less festive lighting and decorations at home.

Consumers are also becoming more selective in their seasonal spending and will not be buying the latest trending gifts, but instead gifts they feel are useful.

Some 60% of these respondents are spending less on fashion and cosmetics, compared with 49% across other consumer groups.

Spending on gifts

Almost 90% of respondents say they plan to spend less, or not increase their spending, on their families this holiday season and 41% will spend less on gifts for friends.

Expected changes to household spending will most noticeably be reduced on take-away and food delivery, with 42% planning to spend less in the next three to four months.

Many cost-concerned consumers are planning to celebrate at home this year – with 50% aiming to spend less, reducing going out and cutting spend on food and drink.

File photo shows shoppers are seen on Dublin's Henry Street. File photo shows shoppers are seen on Dublin’s Henry Street. Picture by: Radharc Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Almost 40% concerned with the affordability of products will prefer to shop in-store, while 52% have never bought groceries online and nearly half (48%) are not willing to share personal data for personalised recommendations for cheaper alternatives.

Concerns over inflation and the economy are still present, with 92% extremely or moderately concerned by their country’s economy – and 87% concerned by their finances.

Health concerns receding

Overall, consumers are optimistic about the future, with 74% looking forward to getting ‘back to normal’.

Almost 60% of respondents feel very concerned about the rising cost of living.

Just over half say they are eager to catch up on experiences they missed out on due to the pandemic; while health concerns relating to pandemic are receding globally.

The global survey of more than 21,000 consumers was conducted between September 23rd and October 14th 2022.

Main image: File photo shows shoppers on Dublin’s Grafton Street. Picture by: Barry Mason / Alamy Stock Photo