Thursday 22 February 2018

Plummeting consumer confidence blamed on election campaign

Consumer confidence
Consumer confidence
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

THE confidence of consumers took a dive last month, with the local and European elections being blamed.

New figures out this morning show that the consumer sentiment index fell to its lowest level since November last year.

The index dropped from 87.2 in April to 79.4, according to the figures from KBC Bank and the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

The scale of the drop took economists by surprise.

KBC Bank’s Austin Hughes said: “We think election campaign prompted a re-assessment of consumers’ current circumstances.”

It was one of the largest monthly falls in the index, which measures how confident consumers are about prospects for the economy and household finances, in its 18-year history.

The sharp drop in consumer sentiment occurred despite evidence from live register numbers, car sales and tax revenues that suggest a modestly improving trend in the Irish economy at the macro level, Mr Hughes said.

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

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