Ireland: Consumer confidence softens in August after reaching seven-year-high in July
September 17, 2014
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index fell 2.3 points in August over the previous month to reach 87.1 points. July’s 89.4 points had marked the highest level since January 2007. According to the survey report, “the trend in consumer confidence is still moving in a positive direction but consumers remains unclear how much the Irish economy is improving and how any upturn might affect their personal financial circumstances.”
The softer result in August was driven by a moderation in consumers’ perceptions of the current economic environment. The current economic conditions index, which had reached the highest level in July since 2006, was down in August. Some consumers expressed concern about their current financial situation. Others were less positive about purchasing goods as the end of the summer sale season hit and back-to-school spending weighs on household budgets. Meanwhile, the consumer expectations index was broadly stable, with households expressing ongoing optimism about the labor market, although also some uneasiness about their financial situation over the next 12 months. Many respondents feel that there is a disconnect between the economic recovery at a national level and the conditions they are facing firsthand.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist