Ireland: Consumer sentiment declines sharply in February
March 4, 2019
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment index fell sharply in February, tumbling to 86.5 in the month from 98.8 in January. The index, thus, moved further below the critical 100-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers. February marked the sixth consecutive month that the index has been in pessimistic territory.
February’s print, which declined more markedly than expected, reflected a downturn in all sub-components of the index. Consumers held a notably less favorable outlook on general economic conditions and unemployment, primarily owing to the possibility of a no-deal Brexit and a prominent nurses strike. Moreover, consumers downgraded their assessments on their personal financial situation over the next year. That said, consumers only modestly modified their assessments of how their household finances have evolved in the past 12 months, along with their current spending plans.