The Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse stood at 88.3 in December 2018, down 1.6 in November.
The Economic Pulse, which provides a comprehensive and robust picture of the economic environment and consumer and business confidence in Ireland, was also down by 0.6 points compared to December 2017.
It is the second lowest reading in the series history as both Pulses give up ground.
A Year Of Two Halves
“The Economic Pulse ended 2018 on a soft note, with both consumer and business sentiment down in December,” Dr Loretta O’Sullivan, chief economist, Bank of Ireland
“On the consumer front, the high spirits at the outset of the year have given way to an increased nervousness as 2018 comes to a close.
”Having advanced at a good clip in the first half of 2018, the Business Pulse backtracked in the second half of the year.”
According to the O’Sullivan, 2018 as a whole was ‘a year of two halves’ as consumer confidence and business sentiment strengthened in the opening months of the year.
However, this was offset by Brexit uncertainty and international trade tensions reversing the course in the closing months of the year.
While a draft deal for Brexit was put on the table during the second half of the year, it failed to lift the mood in December.
The Consumer Pulse fell by 0.9 on the previous index reading to 89.3, while the Business Pulse fell by 1.8 points to 88.1.
The Retail Pulse, in particular, fell by 5.7 points (the joint highest drop along with the Industry Pulse), as Brexit developments since the summer buffeted the overall sentiment.
BOI expects the Economic Pulse to continue to drop into the opening of 2019.
The Economic Pulse is compiled based on a series of surveys from households and firms who are asked to reflect on a wide range of topics including the economy, their financial situation, spending plans, house price expectations, business activity and hiring intentions.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.