Ireland: Consumer sentiment jumps in March on easing fears around the prospect of a no-deal Brexit
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment index recovered some lost ground in March, climbing to 93.1 from 86.5 in February. The index thus moved closer to the critical 100-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers, and signals a softer contraction than February’s over four-year low.
Improved consumer sentiment in March reflected an upturn in all but one sub-component of the index. Fears over the prospect of a no-deal Brexit appear to have eased, thus prompting consumers to upgrade their assessments on their personal finances in the past year, and improve their outlooks on the general economic conditions and their personal financial situation in the next 12 months. Cancellation of the nurses’ strike also helped to boost sentiment. The outlook on unemployment was also less downbeat, while the willingness to make major purchases was the only category to see a moderation.