Consumers' anxiety levels here are at their lowest in a year, the latest Deloitte Ireland's State of the Consumer Tracker shows.

Deloitte said that for the third month in a row, the April survey recorded increases in consumer confidence in engaging in person-to-person services (up 9%), visiting physical stores (up 6%) and going to a restaurant (up 6%).

Concerns around job loss were down by 9%, while consumers' intent to spend on travel was up by 19%.

Deloitte's State of the Consumer Tracker tracks Irish consumers' attitudes towards personal wellbeing, financial concerns, travel and hospitality, transport and retail.

The most recent data was gathered between April 22 and 28, as the country moved towards the first easing of Level 5 restrictions in over four months.

Today's survey shows that financial concerns were also lower, with consumers' concerns around making upcoming payments down by 7% and a 4% decrease in those who said they were delaying large purchases.

It also recorded increases in spending intent across many sectors, including on clothing and footwear (up by 15%), restaurants and take-aways (up by 20%) and housing (up by 3%).

But decreases were recorded in spending intent on utilities (down by 8%), household goods (down by 3%) and cable TV (down by 6%).

The survey also recorded a big increase in consumers' wishes to spend on travel, up 19% on the previous wave of research.

Increases were also recorded in confidence in air travel (up by 3%) and confidence in staying at a hotel (up by 7%).

There were also increases recorded in those planning to travel for leisure over the next three months, while those intending to stay at a hotel rose by 10% and those planning to stay at private holiday accommodation rising by 8%.

However, consumer sentiment towards purchasing a vehicle online, which had grown during the pandemic, was down by 5%.

There was also a decrease in those putting off regular vehicle maintenance, while those planning to limit their use of public transport falling by 6% and ride hailing down by 9% over the next three months.

Daniel Murray, Partner and Head of Consumer at Deloitte Ireland, said, it was very encouraging to see that consumer confidence continues to grow.

"The fact that consumers' financial concerns are starting to ease in line with health concerns is particularly welcome, as many whose incomes have been impacted anticipate a return to work in the near term, " Mr Murray said.

"As we look forward to engaging in-person once again, businesses should not lose sight of the lessons learned over the past yea," he stressed.

"Our research has highlighted in particular that the rapid digital adoption we have witnessed won't just be reversed once restrictions are a thing of the past: digital must be a core component of all businesses' offerings as the post-pandemic world begins to take shape," he added.