Ireland: Consumer confidence continues upward trend in February
March 5, 2014
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment index inched up 0.9 points over the previous month and reached 85.5 points in February, building on the gains in previous months and maintaining the highest level since May 2007. According to the survey report, the modest rise in sentiment suggests that consumers are, "increasingly confident that the Irish economy and the outlook for jobs are improving and, at the margin, pressure on household finances may be easing slightly. However, consumers are likely to need clearer evidence that things will get notably better for their households before they are willing to scale up their spending."
The current economic conditions index increased in February, reflecting that consumers are more optimistic regarding their current financial situations and their ability to purchase durable goods. Meanwhile, the consumer expectations index decreased slightly over the previous month. Consumers were a little less optimistic about improvements in the labor market and the state of the general economy over the next 12 months.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to expand 1.2% in 2014, which is up 0.3 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2015, the panel sees private consumption increasing 1.1%.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist