Ireland: Consumer confidence slides again to near-six year low in September
October 7, 2019
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment slid deeper into pessimistic territory in September, marking four consecutive months of uninterrupted decline. The index fell to 75.3 in the month from 77.2, moving further below the 100-threshold separating optimism from pessimism among consumers, and marking the worst print since November 2013.
Overall consumer confidence worsened in September on growing fears of a disorderly Brexit. The concerns prompted households to downgrade their outlooks on the Irish economy in general, employment prospects, as well as their personal financial situation in the past 12 months and in the year ahead. On the flip side, consumers were slightly more optimistic about purchasing big-ticket items, which reflects still broadly positive employment and wage dynamics, along with strong business promotions.
An additional question posed to Irish consumers in the September survey found that just over a quarter of the respondents regarded budget adjustments to income taxes and social welfare benefits ‘critically important’ to their financial circumstances while almost half considered them quite important. This suggests that the majority of Irish consumers will be looking to the 2020 Budget for support.
Author: Nihad Ahmed, Economist