Thursday 20 June 2019

Consumer mood lifted after Brexit extension


Loretta O’Sullivan, Bank of Ireland group chief economist
Loretta O’Sullivan, Bank of Ireland group chief economist
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The mood of consumers in Ireland was lifted in May following a lull in Brexit news after the UK secured a departure extension in April.

But the latest Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse data, published this morning, shows that while consumers were more upbeat, business sentiment was mixed.

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The survey shows that Irish households are more positive about the outlook for the economy, despite the challenges posed by Brexit and the continuing US-China trade war.

Buying sentiment improved, with 36pc of consumers thinking it is a good time to purchase big ticket items such as furniture and electrical goods. That compared to 32pc in April.

Meanwhile, 70pc of consumers are planning to spend the same or more on holidays this year compared to last year.

The Economic Pulse surveys 1,000 households and about 2,000 businesses on a range of topics.

For businesses, the latest Pulse figures show that the number of firms reporting above normal stocks of finished goods for the time of year remained higher than usual. That also occurred in February and April.

Bank of Ireland said it suggests that businesses worried about supply chain or logistic disruptions in the event of a no-deal Brexit are continuing to engage in precautionary stockpiling.

"We've seen a mixed picture this month, with the Consumer Pulse doing some catching up and the Business Pulse easing back," said Bank of Ireland group chief economist Loretta O'Sullivan.

This morning's figures also show that 40pc of consumers are concerned about rising house prices and rents.

Irish Independent

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