Image Latest research highlights consumer concern about rising prices
Image Rob Flynn
Staff Writer

New research carried out by bonkers.ie in conjunction with REDC shows that Irish consumers are worried about the rising cost of gas and electricity, fuel for their cars, as well as other essential consumer goods.

Inflation in Ireland is currently running at around 6.7%. This means that prices are rising at their fastest pace in 22 years. And according to the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), inflation is expected to breach the 8% mark over the coming months. See our piece here on why inflation is increasing.

With this comes a certain level of worry and concern for Irish consumers as we try our best to navigate the current inflationary climate.

Our latest round of research, in conjunction with REDC, helped to shed some light on the scale of concern felt by Irish consumers about rising prices across the board.

Before we take a look at our findings, here’s a little more about our research.

About the research

Every year we conduct independent research to help us get a better understanding of prevailing consumer sentiment, all so we can better serve you, our customers.

 The latest round of research was conducted by REDC in March and surveyed a nationally representative sample of just over 1,000 adults (+18) in the Republic of Ireland.

The findings

This year’s research asked people how worried they are about the rising price of:

  • Gas and electricity
  • Petrol and diesel
  • Home heating oil
  • Food
  • Broadband, TV and streaming services

The research showed significant concern about increasing prices across all areas and among all age groups.

However, women and those aged between 35 and 44 showed the highest level of concern regarding inflation.

Gas & electricity

Gas and electricity prices were at the forefront of most consumers' minds with 89% of people saying they are highly concerned or worried about rising energy prices.

Interestingly, this rises to 95% among those aged between 35 and 44.

Those 65 and up displayed the least concern of all age groups at 85%, though still very high.

Fuel prices

Meanwhile 81% of people are highly concerned about rising petrol and diesel prices. This increases to 84% among women yet only 79% among men.

The 35-44 age group also showed the most concern in this category coming in at 85%. However, 3% of people were not worried at all, while 6% said price increases at the pumps weren’t applicable to them, most likely indicating they do not drive and/or own a car.

Worried about the price of running your car? Read our guide here on how to save on your driving costs.

Food prices

Food prices are also of big concern for consumers.

72% of men and 77% of women are highly concerned about increasing food costs. And this rises to 81% among the 35-44 age group.

Only 2% of those surveyed said they weren’t worried at all.

Cost of communications

The rising cost of broadband, and TV and streaming services also registered concern for people.

This is understandable considering Netflix recently announced a price increase of up to 17% for its Irish customers. Vodafone also increased the price of its plans for most of its new and existing customers by 5.5%.

While not as much of a worry for people as energy and fuel prices, 60% of people still say they’re highly concerned.

This increases to 65% for females versus 56% for men, and 67% among the 35-44 age group.

Forecasting the coming months

Commenting on the research, our Head of Communications at bonkers.ie, Daragh Cassidy, spoke about the context giving rise to high inflation and what’s likely to happen in the coming months.

After almost a decade of negligible price growth, inflation has come back with a bang. Prices have risen by almost the same amount over the past year than they did in the previous decade. Understandably, rising energy prices are what concern people the most.

Food inflation is the next big thing to worry about. At 3% it’s at its highest level in years according to the CSO and could reach close to 5% or more over the coming months. As recently as January 2021, food prices were falling by -2.1%, so it’s a big turnaround in the space of just over a year.

Looking forward, there is no immediate end in sight to rising prices. Energy prices, which are highly volatile, will largely determine whether inflation will return to more normal levels over the coming months, as will the trajectory of the war in Ukraine.

To deal with rising prices, the ECB is likely to have to start raising interest rates towards the end of the year, which in turn will lead to higher mortgage payments for those on variable rates and trackers, which could put even more pressure on household finances.

Take a look at our table below which shows what percentage of people are worried or extremely worried about rising prices.

Top Worries

Male

Female

18-24 years old

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

65+

Gas/electricity

87%

90%

86%

86%

95%

90%

87%

85%

Petrol/diesel

79%

84%

84%

80%

85%

81%

80%

77%

Food

72%

77%

74%

74%

81%

80%

73%

65%

Home heating oil

58%

65%

75%

63%

62%

58%

62%

56%

Broadband, TV & Streaming services

56%

65%

58%

61%

67%

62%

61%

52%

Switch and save on your household bills

Remember, if you’re worried about rising prices and want to save money on your household bills, you can make significant savings right here on bonkers.ie.

You can compare prices across energy, broadband, banking products, and insurance. Check out our comparison pages to discover what other bills you could save on today.

In the meantime, you can keep up to date on the latest news stories on our blog, while we also have loads of helpful information on our consumer guides page for those looking to expand their knowledge of personal finance.

Let’s hear from you

Do you agree with the results of our research? Are there any costs in particular that you’re worried about? Let us know in the comments below.

You can also reach out to us on social media. We’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.