Ireland: Consumer confidence pulls back in March
April 7, 2014
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index retreated 2.4 points over the previous month to settle at 83.1 points in March. The index had climbed to the highest level since May 2007 in February. According to the survey report, the fall in sentiment reflects, “the reality for many consumers that their personal finances remain under pressure. As a result, they are not in a position to step up spending even as fears about the Irish economy and the outlook for jobs ease.”
The current economic conditions index decreased notably in March, with consumers expressing more pessimism regarding their current financial situations and their ability to purchase durable goods. Meanwhile, the consumer expectations index increased over the previous month. Consumers were much more optimistic about improvements in the labor market but slightly less positive regarding 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