Sunday 11 December 2016

Consumer confidence at highest in 10 years

Published 09/12/2015 | 02:30

Black Friday and Cyber Monday were two of the key factors for the spike in consumer spending during the month
Black Friday and Cyber Monday were two of the key factors for the spike in consumer spending during the month

The improved jobs outlook and healthier household finances have boosted consumer sentiment to a 10-year high.

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The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment index climbed to 103.1 in November from 101.3 the previous month. This was the strongest reading in close to a decade.

It comes as new figures from Visa showing Cyber Monday drove spending almost 8pc higher last month.

This is in contrast to the UK where Cyber Monday fell flat. November's Black Friday sales failed to boost turnover at UK stores, according to the British Retail Consortium and accountants KPMG.

Sales in November at stores fell 0.4pc from the same month in 2014.

In contrast, spending by consumers here was at its strongest in the 15 months that it has been recorded by payment card operator Visa Europe.

There was a rise of 7.9pc across all payment methods.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday were two of the key factors for the spike in consumer spending during the month.

Electronic purchases were up 11pc as consumers flocked online for deals on Cyber Monday.

Double-digit growth in e-commerce has now been recorded in each of the past six months.

The surge in consumer confidence has been put down to job creation.

The index, which is put together by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) for KBC Bank, shot up last month as consumers feel the worst of the downturn is over.

The ESRI's Daniel Foley said the strongest development in November related to consumer's perception of future employment prospects.

He said: "There was a significant increase in this component which contributed to an overall increase in the index of consumer expectations. This is the first increase seen in the jobs element of the survey since June 2015."

KBC Bank's Austin Hughes said the results suggest that the recovery is strengthening and spreading to the point where most consumers now sense it will make a difference to their financial circumstances.

Irish Independent

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