Irish consumer sentiment falls marginally while EU’s improves

Irish consumer sentiment fell slightly in April
Of those employees who have returned to work, 22% in retail have been asked to work shorter hours

Although consumer confidence actually improved slightly in April within the EU area, Ireland's Consumer Sentiment Index edged down to 58.9 in April, from 60 in March.



13 May 2013

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A marginal decline in consumer sentiment occurred last month as a result of worries over future household finance and further downbeat expectations for the economy.                                  

The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index shows April’s reading dropped slightly to 58.9, compared to 60 in March. 

What’s more, the three-month moving average fell from 61.2 to 59.4, reflecting a slight weakening of sentiment since the start of 2013.

According to the report, although there had been a gradual improvement in sentiment over the past two years, the more recent three-month average series revealed a "somewhat poorer trajectory".

The report added that the marginal fall in Irish sentiment was broadly consistent with the marginal decline recorded by the comparable indicator in the US.

However in the euro area, consumer confidence actually improved slightly in April. Results nevertheless varied across different member states, with consumers being a little more positive in countries such as Germany, France and Belgium and a little less worried in Spain and Portugal. In contrast, Cyprus experienced a dramatic decline, with the survey happening at the same time as the country’s banking bailout.  

Austin Hughes of KBC Bank Ireland said Ireland’s marginal decline was "not entirely surprising". 

"The April survey period saw some downbeat reports on the Irish economy and a number of indicators that point towards a still hesitant recovery….At the same time, the mishandling of the bailout of Cyprus served as an unfortunate reminder of the continuing inability of European policymakers to chart a course out of the crisis. In these circumstances, it is scarcely surprising that Irish consumers remained wary," he said.



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