Report Shows Notable Contradictions In Irish Consumer Sentiment
Published on Jan 9 2018 11:09 AM
Overall, consumer sentiment highlights notable contradictions in the circumstances of the typical Irish consumer at the end of 2017, according to the KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index for December.
The report indictates that while consumers appear to be positive of the Irish economy, they remain more uncertain about their own personal finances.
The survey, however, showed a solid improvement compared with the December 2016 sentiment reading of 96.2 implies that Irish consumers have become more confident in the past twelve months but this largely reflects a correction of fears that emerged following the UK Brexit vote a year and a half ago.
Household Finances Remains Modest
The report shows that the Irish economy is 'improving but the recovery in household finances remains modest and uneven particularly when judged against the scale of losses suffered through the downturn'.
Commenting on the results Philip Economides, ESRI, said: "The Consumer Sentiment Index for December marks the end of a year characterised by a recovery in attitudes towards household’s current economic circumstances as well as expectations of future growth going into 2018."
"While uncertainties are potentially making households wary about their own personal financial circumstances for the coming 12 months, the broader economic recovery is certainly filtering through into a more positive consumer sentiment relative to 12 months ago."
Improvement In January Expected
The research indicated that expect to see some improvement in the January consumer sentiment index is expected.
The combination of bargain–hunting in post- Christmas sales and new year optimism, underpinned by a healthy Irish economy should ensure a solid start to sentiment in 2018.
Austin Hughes, KBC Bank Ireland, noted: "We would expect some uptick in sentiment in January on bargain hunting in post-Christmas sales and a measure of New Year optimism but the December results suggest that the typical Irish consumer is being buffeted by an array of influences that mean they are not seeing a ‘normal’ improvement in their circumstances."
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