Strongest Irish consumer sentiment in years boosted by bailout exit
CONSUMER sentiment ended 2013 at the strongest level in 6 ½ years, boosted by hopes that the economy is finally on the turn and that pressure on household finances may be set to ease, according to new research.
Ireland’s smooth exit from the EU/IMF bailout in December, when research for the latest index was underway may have fed into the better mood, researchers said.
But while there is a sense that the overall economy is on the up many people remain fearful for their own personal finances.
In December a majority of 51pc of people surveyed for the research said they expect the Irish economy to improve in the year ahead. In December 2012 only one in five thought the economy would improve over the coming 12 months.
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI index of consumer sentiment rose in December to 79.8 from 71.0 in November.
That is well above the 49.8 level recorded at the end of 2012, but confidence remains well below the historical average.