NI consumers "more bullish about Brexit" than GB shoppers, says PwC survey

  • According to a survey by PwC, around a third of people in Northern Ireland expect to be financially worse off because of Brexit.

    However the Consumer Sentiment Autumn 2019 survey also found that 60% of people in Northern Ireland aren’t worried, and won’t let the political uncertainty change their spending habits, while a quarter expect to be better off overall.

    Almost a quarter of NI residents said they had not changed their spending habits in the last 12 months, but expected to do so in the next year.

    PwC interviewed 2,000 adults across the UK for their report, and despite political upheaval, the professional services firm said overall sentiment was resilient.

    Northern Ireland and Scotland were the only regions where the perceived impact of Brexit on personal finances had not deteriorated since April. 

    While sentiment had declined slightly, Martin Cowie, Partner at PwC NI noted that “overall UK consumers are still more positive about their personal prospects than immediately after the EU referendum, and significantly more positive than during the last recession and recovery period.” 

    Although more people in Northern Ireland expected to be worse off this year than they were last year, outside of London, the country has the highest number of people who do believe they will be better off.

    Mr Cowie continued: “Consumers in Northern Ireland appear to be displaying a bullishness towards Brexit; with the majority reporting they don’t expect to change their shopping habits - by devising innovative approaches to attracting shoppers in the busy festive season, businesses can turn this to their advantage.”

    When asked about how they would spend their money, just over a quarter of people in Northern Ireland (27%) said they would spend more on grocery shopping - as in previous surveys. In every other category people said they would spend less, with the top three areas being eating out (33%), followed by going out to the cinema, pub or theatre (32%) and going on holidays (27%).

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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