Overall consumer confidence still remains strong in Ireland, though it has declined significantly from a year-on-year perspective for the last four months.
Irish consumer sentiment held steady in December as the worrisome influence of a more threatening economic outlook was offset by a seasonal uplift in views on household finances and spending plans, according to the latest KBC Bank/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index.
“As the UK veers closer to a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit scenario, respondents appear to have become increasingly pessimistic about the prospects of economic growth and continued employment growth in 2019,” Philip Economides, ESRI said.
“While underlying financial situations remain stable, the final quarter of 2018 saw greater uncertainty weigh heavily on consumer confidence.”
The Index was unchanged in December from its November reading which is 'quite an unusual outcome and the last time the level of the sentiment index was identical to that of the preceding month was as far back as 1998,' the report highlighted.
"The steady sentiment reading for December reflects very unstable economic circumstances at the turn of the year," Austin Hughes, KBC Bank Ireland.
The research showed however, that at a time when Irish consumers became notably more pessimistic about the outlook for the economy as a whole, they were also more upbeat about their own personal financial circumstances.
Hughes highlighted: "Irish consumers were notably gloomier about the economic outlook reflecting growing risks around Brexit but this was offset by optimism about household finances and increased seasonal spending plans."
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.