Ireland: Consumer sentiment improves in March
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment index increased from 105.2 points in February to 108.1 points in March. March’s recovery in consumer confidence was largely driven by consumers’ more optimistic outlook on their personal finances for the next year. Consumers’ willingness to make major purchases increased as well. Looking at the macroeconomic components of the index, views on current economic conditions and consumer expectations increased. This caused unemployment fears to diminish in the surveyed month.
Commenting on March’s reading, KBC Bank Ireland noted that:
“The broad trend in sentiment of late is one of uneven improvement rather than soaring confidence. However, the strength of the January and March data mean the three-month moving average of the sentiment series, which provides a sense of the underlying trend is now at its strongest level since February 2001.”