Sunday 4 December 2016

Consumer confidence leaps during Coalition honeymoon

Aideen Sheehan Consumer Correspondent

Published 14/04/2011 | 05:00

A HONEYMOON period for the new Government led to consumer confidence taking a surprising upward leap last month.

  • Go To

Despite worsening unemployment and rising fuel bills, consumer confidence in March improved to its highest level since last August.

The KBC/ESRI consumer sentiment index -- which measures people's views of the current economic situation and future outlook -- increased from 50.3 in February to 59.5 in March.

This was the third biggest monthly improvement since the index began 15 years ago -- although confidence is still very weak compared to past years when the index averaged 89.3.

KBC chief economist Austin Hughes said the leap in confidence might reflect hopes for a fresh start as the new Government took office.

"Greater political certainty and a honeymoon period for the new Government could have contributed to the imp-rovement in sentiment," he said.

But although the figure suggested hopes for a fresh start, it didn't suggest Irish consumers were irrationally exuberant about the future.

It also remains to be seen if the rise was just a blip -- particularly as the next monthly survey will measure the impact on consumer mood of the latest bank bailout bill, rising interest rates and even higher fuel bills.

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News