Happy days again: confidence index is back on the rise
An index measuring consumer confidence has recovered from a six-year low with all ages more upbeat about the future.
But women still feel negative about the economic prospects, according to Standard Life's Financial Confidence Index.
The index has recovered for the first time in nine months to 49.4, with all age groups recording an improved outlook compared with the six-year low reached last quarter of 47.6.
Only women as a group recorded a fall in confidence levels of -0.1pc.
Brendan Barr, Standard Life's head of marketing, said people with pensions were more upbeat than those without.
"On average, they scored a solid 57.2 compared with those who don't have a pension, scoring a significantly lower 44.0," he said.
"Unsurprisingly, people who plan for their future are more confident than those who don't."
The results are based on an online survey commissioned by Standard Life and conducted by Research Plus of 1,017 adults aged 18 and over between September 27 and October 4.
Those aged 65 and upwards continue to be the most confident, with an average score of 58.9. The least confident age group are 45- to 54-year-olds averaging a 45.7 score, closely followed by 18- to 24-year-olds with a 45.8 average – compared with a national average score of 49.4.
Geographically, the most confident region is Dublin, scoring an average 51.6, while the least confident region is Connacht with an average score of 47.1
Since its launch in 2007, the index hit an all-time high of 66.7 in March 2008 and an all-time low of 47.6 in July last year.