Ireland: Consumer confidence rises to five-month high in December
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment rose for the second month straight in December. The index increased to 81.4 in the month from 77.1 in November, marking the highest reading since July 2019 and thus moving closer but still remaining below the 100-threshold separating optimism from pessimism among consumers.
December’s improvement in consumer confidence largely reflected diminishing concerns around the risk of the UK crashing out of the EU in the near term. Households’ expectations of their personal finances as well as of the general economic environment in the year ahead turned less pessimistic. Moreover, consumers’ concerns over job losses ahead and their perception of their personal financial situation in the past year also turned less negative. Lastly, households’ willingness to purchase large ticket items improved, suggesting that consumer spending could strengthen over the turn of the year.