Emigration remains  a major concern for the Irish population, with over half of those between 16 to 24 believing they may have to leave the country to find a job according to a new survey.

Times are still hard for most Irish. Twenty-eight percent of Irish consumers are broke after paying their bills every month the new survey shows.

The survey by Mintel Ireland also shows that 13 percent are badly behind in bills, a number that jumps to 41 percent among the unemployed.

Only four percent intend to buy a new car in the next year while six percent will buy a second hand car and three percent are planning to buy a smart phone



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David Pasley, research manager, Mintel Ireland stated "By comparison to their Northern Irish counterparts, consumers in the Republic are less concerned with rising utility and food bills in the future. Their problems are very much in the present, with more consumers south of the border finding it difficult to keep up with bills and to make their income stretch."

Irish banks have a very steep hill to climb when it comes to regaining consumer confidence. Some 37 per cent say they will not bank with Irish banks if they can find an alternative.

Pasley stated "Banks will have to work hard to regain the trust of many segments of the population and may face increased competition from alternative financial institutions."

The survey also found that  it is the self employed and full time workers who are most confident in themselves at 45 percent and 40 percent respectively The lowest level of self-confidence is shown the unemployed at 29 percent, followed by part time workers at 27 percent.

Pasley adds: "The high level of self-confidence among the self employed is an encouraging signal of the "can-do" attitude of Irish entrepreneurs. On the other hand, the much lower levels of self-confidence among the unemployed shows a degree of demoralisation for this group. It is likely that this sentiment will continue until we see real and visible job prospects in sectors which suit the skill sets of those currently in unemployment."