Ireland: Consumer confidence strengthens in December
January 5, 2015
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index increased from 85.3 points in November to 90.5 points in December, which marked the second highest level since January 2007. December’s result reflects improvements in both consumers’ perceptions of the current economic environment and their outlook for the Irish economy. The current economic conditions index increased as consumers were more upbeat about their current situation. The consumer expectations index also increased as consumers were more positive about their financial situation over the next 12 months. Consumers also expressed optimism about the prospect of purchasing goods, although their expectations for developments in the labor market were relatively unchanged.
Despite the positive result, there is still a feeling among consumers that the economic recovery seen at a national level has yet to carry over and fully impact their everyday experience. According to the survey report, “the December results suggest that Irish consumers are gradually growing more confident. The most encouraging aspect is that concerns about household finances appear to be easing somewhat as a range of influences seem likely to support spending power in 2015. However, there is still a strong sense from a consumer perspective that the much vaunted economic recovery remains remote from their personal circumstances, emphasizing the uneven and fragile nature of the upswing.”
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist