Irish consumer sentiment fell sharply in January, reversing the gains seen in December, the latest KBC Bank Irish consumer sentiment index showed.
"In light of the sharply increased incidence of the virus and a related increase in health-related restrictions, it is scarcely surprising that consumer confidence tumbled in January," Austin Hughes of KBC Bank said.
"Although the drop in sentiment in Ireland was clearly larger than in many other economies, it can still be argued that the decline here may be somewhat smaller than might have been feared," he added.
Hughes noted that the reduced incidence of the virus through November and early December drove a modest rebound in sentiment.
While the index remained well below pre-pandemic levels, the research showed that Irish consumers responded to expectations that a post-pandemic world would emerge during the course of 2021.
Hughes said, "it is scarcely surprising that sentiment weakened in January in response to the explosive trajectory of the virus in late December and the associated ramping up of health-related restrictions."
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