Ireland: Consumers more optimistic in July
August 23, 2017
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index edged up from 105.0 points in June to 105.1 points in July. This marginal increase pushed the indicator to its best reading since February 2016.
July’s reading reflected diverging trends. While purchasing intentions improved notably thanks to summer retail sales, views on personal finances for the upcoming year dipped as wage growth remains muted. The two main macroeconomic components of the survey, the general economic outlook and the current conditions index, were largely unchanged in the surveyed month. The small month-on-month change in these two components reflects better-than-expected economic data for Ireland and relief as the economic impact on trade from Brexit and a Trump presidency has yet not materialized.
Commenting on why Ireland’s July reading differed from other comparable surveys across the world, KBC noted that:
“Irish consumers had braced themselves for some fallout from Brexit and/or changed US economic policies but the first half of 2017 has proven notably less traumatic for the Irish economy than may have been feared. However, in other countries, earlier hopes may have given way to varying degrees of disappointment of late.”