Ireland: Consumer confidence drops markedly in March on coronavirus concerns
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment dropped significantly in March, largely reflecting growing concerns over impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on economic prospects. The index declined to 77.3 in the month from 85.2 in February, thus falling further below the 100-threshold separating optimism from pessimism among consumers.
Looking at the breakdown, consumers’ concerns over job losses ahead deteriorated markedly in March from February, as well as households’ perception of the general economic outlook and their expectations for their personal finances in the year ahead. Moreover, consumers’ willingness to purchase large ticket items turned less optimistic, while their appraisal of their personal finances compared to a year ago turned less pessimistic.