Ireland: Consumer confidence rises in May but remains entrenched in pessimistic territory
Consumers turned slightly more optimistic in May, with the KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment index rising to 89.9 from 87.7 in April. The index thus remained firmly entrenched in pessimistic territory, below the crucial 100-point threshold separating optimism from pessimism.
May’s print reflected a better outlook on general economic conditions, personal finances in the year ahead and employment prospects, as an improving labor market suggests gains in households’ purchasing power. The upturns were mild, however, as consumers remain cautious of the implications of Brexit and headwinds arising from a challenging global backdrop. On the flip side, consumers were more downbeat about their personal financial situation in the past 12 months and purchasing big-ticket items, as the recent jump in inflation, mainly on higher energy costs, curbed households’ spending power.