The mood among households and firms was more subdued this month, according to the Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse stood at 91.3 in August this year.
The index, which combines the results of the Consumer and Business Pulses, was down 2.3 units on last month’s reading and 0.6 lower than this time last year.
Bank of Ireland believes that there is a ‘heightened uncertainty’ surround Brexit as speculation of a ‘no deal’ outcome which has dampened economic sentiment in August.
Consumer sentiment fell by 1.8 units in August to 96.0 on the Consumer Pulse. Bank of Ireland’s chief economist, Dr. Loretta O’Sullivan believes that there is a touch of a summer hangover in play.
”There looks to be a touch of a summer spending ‘hangover’ in the August data, with the number of households worried about paying bills up on last month,” she said.
Consumers, however, were more upbeat about their finances over the coming year, and with the summer sales in full swing, the buying climate was a little stronger.
41% of people surveyed considered it a good time to purchase big-ticket items such as furniture and electrical goods, compared with 39% in July.
The Business Pulse fell by 2.4 units in August, standing at 90.1, which was the same reading as August 2017. The Industry Pulse was broadly unchanged from July, but Services and Retail fell by 2.8 and by 2.4 units respectively to fall back to 88.2. Construction saw the biggest drop of 4.6 units to 103.2.
Again, uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the pound looking ground on the euro sent firms’ sentimentality tumbling. In addition to this, rising costs and doubts surrounding trade have also plagued groups.
One in three retailers (44%) reported an increase in costs, excluding labour, in the past three months.
© 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.