Consumer confidence aided by sport
Recent sporting success -- including Irish performances in the Rugby World Cup, Euro 2012 qualifiers, and Dublin's all-Ireland win -- have been credited for a jump in consumer confidence.
The consumer sentiment index, compiled by KBC Bank and the Economic and Social Research Institute, climbed to 63.7 in October from 53.3 in September -- its biggest rise since July 2010.
Economist Austin Hughes said sporting success had given people a boost despite the eurozone debt crisis and job losses.
The prospect of another tough budget, with €1bn in new taxes, was also countered by this month's European Central Bank rate cuts and strong economic growth figures.