Research shows that Irish consumer sentiment weakened somewhat in November, likely reflecting a number of concerns that attracted increasing attention during the period
According to the the KBC Bank Ireland consumer sentiment index, these concerns ranged from a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases, through to the re-emergence of Brexit worries and sharply higher living costs, particularly in relation to energy and housing.
The relatively modest decline in Irish consumer confidence in November partly reflects the fact that the tone of the sentiment survey in recent months has been relatively cautious, if broadly positive.
This month’s reading may also suggest that Irish consumers believe they should be able to cope with the issues now emerging on economic and health fronts.
Although the November reading does not point towards a markedly poorer outlook, it hints that consumers fear any improvement in the Irish economy and, by extension, household financial circumstances that had built steadily, if modestly, since the spring, may fall short of expectations.
"We should note that the drop in Irish consumer sentiment in November is relatively modest in comparison to the fall seen in comparable indicators for other countries of late," said Austin Hughes of KBC Bank.
"Preliminary US data showed an unexpected decline in sentiment to a new 10 year low this month, while recent months have also seen marked softness in similar Euro area and UK confidence metrics," he added.