According to KBC, following four months of weakening sentiment, Irish consumer confidence improved slightly for the month of June.
The bank has declared the rise as 'surprising', as there have been no obvious changes to warrant the optimism after a number of negative months for Irish consumers.
KBC Consumer Confidence Index June
The consumer confidence index sits at 57.7, up from last month's score of 55.5, but down from the same time last year, when confidence was at 87.2, after a number of lockdown measures were lifted.
The current score brings it in line with the index from April of this year.
According to KBC, 'it is not entirely clear why the sentiment index improved in June but different interpretations of the data might imply markedly different paths for the Irish economy and, as a result, would suggest materially different policy actions, both in shape and scale, might be needed to support Irish households and firms.'
The bank believes it is unclear what policy support may be needed, as the circumstances around such changes are constantly evolving, and suggests a policy of waiting for the necessary changes to become more obvious, rather than taking rushed action.
One possible interpretation of the June sentiment survey results, made by KBC, is that Irish consumers feel they are now braced for the difficulties that lie ahead.
'At current levels, sentiment is awful rather than apocalyptic, suggesting the Irish consumer is down but not entirely out,' according to the bank.
Ongoing discussion in the media regarding significant offsetting measures rolled out by the government before or included in this year's Budget may also be a factor in the increase.
© 2022 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click sign up to subscribe to Checkout.