Increased costs of the weekly shopping hitting consumers most

by Gazette Reporter
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The increased cost of the weekly food shop is the most common financial impact experienced by 77% of consumers this year, cited amongst 82% of women surveyed and 73% of men, according to new research from Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland DAC (Aviva).  

This is followed by increases in energy bills (69%), increased costs of products and services that are purchased regularly (55%), transport costs (47%) and eating out (30%).  

Other increased costs experienced by consumers this year include mortgage interest repayments amongst 20% of those surveyed, rent increase for 14% and childcare costs amongst 6%.  These are amongst the key findings of new consumer research conducted by iReach Insights on behalf of Aviva that polled 1,000 people nationwide, with a 50/50 split of men and women aged between 25-65.

The survey found that:

  • Single women were hardest hit by the increased cost of the weekly shop at 81%, the costs for products and services that they buy regularly (64%) and rent increase (18%).
  • Single men surveyed were hardest hit by the increased costs of eating out at 34%, while households with children experienced the largest increases in their energy bills (72%), transport costs (52%), mortgage repayments (26%) and childcare costs (11%).
  • Only 7% of respondents to the survey claimed that increased costs had not impacted them at all, highest amongst single men at 15%.
  • Those aged 55-65 have seen the largest increase in their energy bills at 80% and in the cost of their weekly food shop at 86%.

Commenting Eoin Kennedy, Aviva said: “The euro zone inflation rate fell further in July to 5.3% down from 5.5% in June, according to new figures from Eurostat.   However, prices for goods and services in Ireland remain stubbornly high, with the Central Statistics Office (CSO) estimating that prices here have risen by 4.8% in the 12 months to June of this year*.  This includes energy prices estimated to have increased by 0.9% in the last month and food by 0.2%.  In addition, the ECB raised borrowing costs by a further .25% in July, the ninth consecutive increase which is having a significant impact on many of those with mortgage repayments.

“Figures published by the European Commission in June confirmed that prices in Ireland are among the most expensive for goods and services, with prices some 46% above the EU average.  The report, covering prices through 2022, cited that the high-level prices was driven to a large extent by expensive alcohol, tobacco, energy, transport, and communications.  However, the ECB hinted at the possibility that it may pause a further interest rate hike in September, which would be a welcomed relief to mortgage holders.”

The Aviva survey found that 87% of consumers have made some lifestyle adjustments to combat the price increases, with only 13% having made none.  Eating out less due to increased costs is the most common lifestyle adjustment made by 48% of respondents, followed by buying more own brand items and cheaper meat cuts (43%) and reductions in the amount saved (36%).  Some 21% are no longer saving, 12% have put off retirement saving, reducing amount saved into their pension (10%) or stopped saving into their pension (8%), while 4% claim to have cancelled their health insurance policy.

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