Irish consumer sentiment 'edged higher in May' as spending plans improved in spite of increased uncertainty about the general economic outlook and prospects for household finances.
The latest KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment index suggests that suggests the mood of Irish consumers remains one of 'guarded optimism'.
“The May sentiment survey suggests confidence on the part of Irish consumers is strongly tempered by caution,” said Austin Hughes, KBC Bank Ireland.
The index however indicated that consumers’ expectations for the Irish economy and their household finances over the next twelve months were weaker than Aprils.
Hughes noted: “Expectations for the Irish economy and household finances both dipped slightly last month as risks to the global outlook continue to emerge and many consumers continue to face financial strains.”
The report showed that just 28% of the respondents surveyed said that they expected to see their personal financial circumstances improving in the next twelve months.
The index highlighted that 'the pull-back in expectations both for the Irish economy as a whole as well as consumers’ own household finances also sits uneasily with a ‘bubbling' economy at present but this reading is entirely consistent with the evidence emerging from other indicators in the past couple of weeks.'
"The rise in sentiment in May is driven by a greater positivity towards how consumers view their own personal finances as well as an increased willingness to make large household purchases,"
"This is unsurprising given the buoyancy of the domestic economy. However, consumers are less optimistic in regard to the future economic outlook. Risk factors such as Brexit and international developments may be contributing to an air of caution."
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.