Ireland: Consumer confidence edges down from almost nine-year high in February
March 10, 2015
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index decreased from 101.1 points in January, which had marked the highest level since February 2006, to 96.1 points in February. February’s result reflects moderations in both consumers’ perceptions of the current economic environment and their outlook for the Irish economy. The deterioration was broad-based, with most subcategories performing worse over the previous month. Particularly, compared to the previous month, consumers were less positive about their personal financial situations in the past and the next 12 months, the general economic outlook and major purchases. Conversely, they assessed the outlook for unemployment more positively than in January.
According to the survey report, “[t]he pullback in consumer sentiment in February […] is disappointing but not entirely unexpected. Most Irish consumers are not experiencing a ‘straight line recovery’ where each month sees a clear and progressive improvement in their personal circumstances. In addition, the broader global outlook remains quite uncertain and through the survey period renewed concerns about Greece would have been a forceful reminder of downside risks to macroeconomic prospects. So, while our sense is that the underlying trend in Irish consumer sentiment remains solidly positive, the monthly index is likely to continue to make progress by taking two steps forward followed by one back.”