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Irish Consumer Sentiment Improves As 'Feelbad' Factor Fades

Irish consumer sentiment has improved slightly in March as 'feelbad' factor faded, according to the recently published KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment index.

It showed that the marginal increase is attributed to a slight easing of concerns about household finances and that the sentiment in March only partly corrects February’s decline.

Commenting on the results Daniel Foley, ESRI, said: “There was a modest improvement in sentiment in March following a decline in February. The trend in sentiment for the first 3 months of the year looks to have stabilised following a downturn towards the latter half of last year."

"The results this month indicate that perceptions of personal financial situations compared to last year in particular have improved. This result is consistent with the continuing fall in the unemployment rate.” Foley added.

The survey suggested that from the perspective of the average consumer, 'Ireland’s economic recovery is more properly characterised as an easing in pain than an increase in prosperity'.

In addition, Austin Hughes, KBC Bank Ireland, said: “Probably the most notable feature of the March sentiment results is the stronger reading on household finances. Importantly, this largely reflects fewer consumers reporting that things have gotten worse rather than more saying their spending power has strengthened.

Hughes added, "Only a quarter of those surveyed reported stronger household finances in the past year. So, the recovery is largely a story of an easing in pain rather than consumers signalling a notable increase in prosperity.”

© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern

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