Irish consumer sentiment slipped back slightly in August following three positive months in a row, research shows.
The recently published KBC Bank Ireland consumer sentiment index showed the first decline since a collapse in April that took the index to its lowest level since October 2008.
"The muted survey results for both July and August suggest that we may be seeing a limited rebound rather than the first signs of a lasting recovery in Irish economic conditions of late," the reports author Austin Hughes, chief economist of KBC Bank Ireland, said.
"Our sense is that the key driver of the pull-back in consumer sentiment in August was the resurgence of coronavirus concerns highlighted by the postponement of phase 4 of the easing of restrictions nationwide and the re-imposition of ‘ local lock-downs’ in Kildare, Laois and Offaly," he added.
In that respect, the survey may capture a consumer attempting to re-assess the likelihood of lasting disruptions from the coronavirus.
The report shows that the sense that the pandemic was in the past that fuelled sharp improvements in sentiment in May and June no longer prevails.
"As a result, both direct health-related concerns and the knock-on impact on the outlook for economic activity and employment likely weighed on sentiment in August," Hughes said.
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