Irish consumer sentiment recovered somewhat in November following three successive monthly falls, according to the KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index for November 2018.
The KBC Bank/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 96.5 in November, which is still, however, well below the recent peaks seen in January and July.
“The rapid decline in confidence over the last three months has halted in November driven by major household purchases and anticipated improvements in future finances, said Philip Economides, ESRI, said.
“The approaching festive holiday season likely contributed towards the gain in confidence. Though consumers’ outlook on the general economy continued to decline, November’s loss of confidence are notably less than the previous three months.”
No Deal? No Panic!
It said that the broad message from the November sentiment survey is that, while the average Irish consumer believes in Brexit risks rather than the boom and is increasingly cautious, Christmas has not been cancelled.
Again, Ireland’s consumer sentiment has contrasted that of other countries, which reflect local developments, such as in the US with the debate surrounding the mid-term elections.
Relating to Ireland’s local concerns, the report finds that Irish consumers are not quite in panic mode over Brexit (yet) as hopes for a draft deal have given rise.
This lack of panic was also seen in last month’s survey, however, when a ‘No Deal’ looked more likely.
There was a small drop in the number of consumers expecting the economy to strengthen in 2019, but the number holding negative views were unchanged.
The report says this paints a picture that optimism is fading, as opposed to pessimism building.
“The improvement in sentiment in November is encouraging in that it suggests Irish consumers are very much aware of Brexit-related risks but they are not in panic mode. While the survey suggests sentiment and spending may be cautious, it also emphasises that Christmas hasn’t been cancelled,” author Austin Hughes, KBC Bank Ireland, said.
“The details of the November sentiment survey suggests ‘macro’ concerns persist but consumers are also able and willing to see a boost to spending power from Budget ’19 measures and lower oil price as well as the particular impact of ‘Black Friday price discount.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.