Economic downturn sees an increase in sales of takeaway food, DVD rentals and television audiences.

More than 350,000 people are now on the live register, and one result of the accompanying decline in consumer confidence is the way people socialise. While the number of people dining out have decreased, pizza delivery companies have never been busier at weekends. According to CEO of Four Star Pizza Jason Sheehy, 

People aren’t going out as much as they were going out before because we all have less money in our pockets, let’s face it.

The number of people renting DVDs has also increased, and more are also sitting down to watch television, particularly during the day and at weekends. RTÉ Television Director of Programmes Steve Carson explains the increase in viewing figures,

The available audience is larger; more people are watching television.

People haven’t stopped going out altogether though, but Donal O’Keefe from the Licensed Vintners Association says that there is a noticeable decrease in the pub and restaurant trade for the early part of the week. The pub is still a place where Irish people like to socialise, it is not likely to disappear any time soon,

We’ve been through recessions, we’ve been through booms, and we’re very confident we’ll come through this one as well.

Behavioural economist Pete Lunn says that at present the current recession having a bigger psychological impact on the Irish public than previous recessions. The international factors involved mean that, 

People feel that they lack control over their own situation. This recession has been caused by events in financial markets internationally that are very outside of their own control and that has a bigger psychological as well as economic impact.

Martin Harte of the Temple Bar Company says that it is important that people to continue to go out. 

Pete Lunn says that trust is needed to keep the economy going this will involve leadership and having a plan, so that people can, 

Sign up to the direction we’re going in, economically, so they feel more certain about their own futures.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 10 March 2009.  The reporter is Samantha Libreri.