Thursday 18 January 2018

Consumers recover confidence in economy

(Stock image)
(Stock image)
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Consumers recovered some of their confidence about the economy last month.

New figures show that the consumer confidence index rose in March.

But the data shows a small an uneven improvement in the financial circumstances of most households.

Consumer sentiment rose to 97.8 last month, up from 96.1 in February, according to KBC Bank and the Economic and Social Research Institute, which compile the figures.

Most elements of the index improved but consumers are still gloomy about the prospects for jobs.

The survey period coincided with lay-offs at communications company UPC, but also came at the time of a number of jobs announcements, and falling unemployment figures.

Chief economist at KBC Bank Austin Hughes said the March consumer sentiment survey shows a clear sense that things are improving in the economy, and that consumers increasingly expect to share in the recovery in the next twelve months.

However, the survey also highlights that the improvement in the immediate circumstances of Irish consumers remains modest and uneven, he said.

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