Consumers upbeat despite Brexit fears
Rising employment and pay increases are helping Irish consumers feel more confident, according to the results of the latest Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse.
The survey data published this morning confirmed that consumers are as upbeat now as they were before the 2016 Brexit vote that will see the UK leave the European Union.
But businesses and consumers around the country fear that Brexit will have negative consequences for their localities.
The survey found that 75pc of respondents in Connacht and Ulster think Brexit will be bad in their region, while 70pc in Munster think the same. In Dublin, the figure is 62pc, while in the rest of Leinster, 64pc believe Brexit will have a negative impact.
"Households were more upbeat about their own finances this month, but with the focus of the Brexit talks turning to the transition period and indications of substantive differences between the UK and the EU on elements of this, they sounded a more cautious note on the outlook for the economy," said Bank of Ireland's group chief economist, Loretta O'Sullivan.
The Economic Pulse stood at a 20-month high in February.
In businesses, the reading for the economic pulse stood at 94.1. That's 3.1 points higher than in January, and 0.9 points higher than 12 months ago. Industrial, services and retail firms were more optimistic this month about their prospects over the next three months.
The survey also found that there's increased concern among consumers regarding house and rent prices. Four out of 10 of those surveyed were concerned about those issues.
Half of firms in Dublin and Munster consider housing provision in their regions to be inadequate.