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Business Sentiment Softens As Consumer Confidence Slightly Picks Up

Fresh Brexit concerns have sent Irish business sentiment tumbling this week, as the Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse fell 1.4 points in March.

The latest reading from the survey was 89.4 points, which was 7.7 points lower than March 2018.

The business pulse was down 2.1 points compared to last month, and 5.7 points lower than March 2018.

Increased Investment

The survey found that three in ten businesses expect to increase their investment spending this year compared to last year, with replacing and maintaining plant and equipment the main area of focus.

”While investment is on the cards for this year, Brexit-related uncertainty has led some firms to adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach to decisions,” Loretta O’Sullivan, Group Chief Economist, Bank of Ireland.

“Having posted a series low last month, the Consumer Pulse was a touch higher this month.”

The Consumer pulse rose 1.5 points on last month’s reading, however, it was 15.8 points lower than March 2018.

The seasonal increase was on the back of a series low last month.

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. 

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