Ireland: Consumer sentiment drops to almost two-year low in December
January 10, 2017
In December, the KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index plunged from November’s 97.8 points to a 22-month low of 96.2 points. No significant economic or political event occurred in the surveyed month, but the drop is an indication of growing concerns among consumers amid mounting uncertainty, both due to the potential impact of Donald Trump’s presidency in Ireland and the anticipated start of Brexit negotiations in the first quarter of 2017.
December’s decline reflects a near broad-based decrease of four of the five main components of the index. Irish consumers grew more pessimistic about their personal financial situation in 2017 and the general economic outlook. In contrast, the unemployment outlook improved due to strong labor market data released by the Central Statistics Office.
KBC stressed that, “the December survey does not suggest Irish consumers are bracing themselves for an economic Armageddon […] The survey is simply telling us that there is far less certainty that the Irish economy will deliver broadly felt growth in the year ahead.”