Consumer confidence grows to 10-year high on more cash, stronger jobs figures
THE confidence of householders improved last month to push it to a 10-year high.
A stronger jobs market and higher household spending power were behind the optimism.
Even though the rise in the consumer sentiment index in December was marginal it was enough to push the reading to its highest level in a decade.
The KBC Bank/ESRI consumer sentiment index rose to 103.9 in December, from 103.1 the previous month.
This was the strongest position since January 2006.
But the limited monthly change suggests the average consumer is not seeing any dramatic improvement in their financial circumstances, according to KBC Bank economist Austin Hughes.
The rise in December was the third monthly gain in a row.
Mr Hughes said the index was now on a path of steady, if modest, improvements in recent months.
He said: “The fact that the monthly improvement in sentiment was fairly modest suggests that there hasn’t been any dramatic change in the environment facing Irish consumers of late.”