Ireland: Consumer confidence reaches six-and-a-half-year high
January 15, 2014
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment index climbed 8.8 points over the previous month to 79.8 points in December, marking the highest level since June 2007. According to the survey report, the driving force behind the improvement, "was an easing in fears about the outlook for the Irish economy and a range of positive recent economic developments as Ireland exited the 'bailout' program. There also seems to be some sense that consumers feel the worst may be over in terms of the impact of austerity measures on their household finances."
The strong increase in December's current economic conditions index reflected that consumers have become more optimistic regarding their current financial situations and their ability to purchase durable goods. The consumer expectations index also rose strongly over the previous month. Consumers expect improvements in unemployment and they feel more optimistic about the state of the general economy over the next 12 months.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to contract 0.9% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2015, the panel sees private consumption increasing 1.1%.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist