Consumer confidence has risen but business sentiment slips, research shows.
According to the latest Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse, over half (55%) of households think the economy will get better in the next 12 months, while one in three sees their finances improving.
After moving sideways in June and dipping slightly in July, the Consumer Pulse re-gained traction in August 2021, coming in at 81.0. This was 6.2 higher than last month and up 28.1 on a year ago.
The improvement was broad-based across the components, with households more optimistic about the economy, their personal finances and job prospects this month.
A slew of positive developments – the strong vaccine uptake, the resumption of indoor hospitality and the fall in the numbers receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment – helped lift consumer confidence, which is now not far off its pre-COVID level.
Commenting on the August Economic Pulse, Dr Loretta O’Sullivan, group chief economist for Bank of Ireland said, “It was a mixed picture this month, with consumer confidence rising but business sentiment slipping.
"This reflects some catch up on the part of households and some pausing for breath on the part of firms. It is also the case that the big gains associated with the re-opening of the economy are largely behind us," she said.
O’Sullivan noted that there has been a substantial easing of public health restrictions in recent months and we are now starting to see the Economic Pulse, and similar indicators in other countries, plateau at relatively high levels.
"That said, there is a little further to go on the re-opening front here, so coming surveys will tell what impact the Government’s plans in this regard have on sentiment,” she added.