Irish consumer sentiment improved notably in November, after a six month low which was recorded in October, as the reduced risks of a ‘crash-out’ Brexit, research shows.
At current levels, the recently published KBC Bank Irish Consumer Sentiment Index is still pointing to a nervous Irish consumer but the bounce in confidence in the November survey hints that sentiment and spending could end 2019 on a positive note.
Reflecting the pronounced downward trend of recent years and the singular lack of a major ‘feel-good’ economic event, the November rise is the largest monthly gain since Christmas in January 2015.
Ease Consumer Worries
The improvement in Irish consumer sentiment in November was mirrored in better readings, albeit to a markedly more modest degree - in similar indicators for the US, the UK and the Euro area, highlighted Austin Hughes, chief economist, KBC Bank Ireland in his analysis.
Increased hopes for a trade deal between the US and China, the removal of the imminent threat of a disorderly Brexit, slightly healthier readings in a range of economic indicators globally and a stronger performance by equity markets likely contributed to varying degrees to ease consumers’ worries in a range of territories.
Postponed, Not Cancelled
In the report Hughes outlined that in all, November saw clear improvements in consumer thinking on their own household finances both in relation to the past twelve months and the year ahead.
However, he noted that it should be emphasised that household finances elements of the November survey reflect an easing in worries rather than a sense that all is wonderful; Brexit may have been postponed (again) but it hasn’t been cancelled.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.