Ireland: Consumer confidence improves for third month straight in January
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment rose for the third consecutive month in January. The index increased to 85.5 in the month from 81.4 in December, marking the highest reading in six months and thus moving closer but still remaining below the 100-threshold separating optimism from pessimism among consumers.
The improvement logged in the first month of 2020 largely reflected reduced fears around the risk of a “crash out” Brexit and start-of-the-year optimism. Households’ expectations of their personal finances in the year ahead, as well as their appraisal of their personal financial situation in the past year, turned positive. In addition, consumers’ concerns over job losses ahead and their perception of the general economic environment turned less pessimistic. Moreover, households’ willingness to purchase large ticket items improved.