Consumer confidence slips after hitting seven-year high

The figure dipped in the first six months of the year, according to the Consumer Market Monitor

Shoppers on Grafton Street: The sentiment figure is still strong compared to neighbouring economies. Photograph: David Sleator

Shoppers on Grafton Street: The sentiment figure is still strong compared to neighbouring economies. Photograph: David Sleator

Mon, Aug 11, 2014, 01:00

Consumer confidence slipped slightly in the second quarter of the year after hitting a seven-year high.

Having hit a high of +10 in the first three months of this year in the wake of Ireland’s exit from the bailout programme, the figure dipped to +8.4 in the period to the end of June, according to the Consumer Market Monitor published by the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and the Marketing Institute of Ireland.

The figure is still strong compared to neighbouring economies and a full 19 points higher than at the same time last year, the report says, noting that the improved sentiment has begun to feed through to consumer spending.

The report’s authors point particularly to dramatic increases in activity in the car and property markets.

They suggest current Central Bank forecasts for growth of 1.1 per cent in consumer spending this year, and 1.3 per cent next year, “may well prove pessimistic, as recent trends suggest continuing improvement in employment and considerable buoyancy in consumer confidence and spending”.