Irish consumer sentiment stays flat
Irish consumer sentiment was flat in October as improved confidence in the wider economy was offset by worries about household finances and the upcoming budget.
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment index rose to 60.9 from September’s reading of 60.2.
The change should not be regarded as significant, the survey states, as it comes on the back of a considerable 10-point drop in September.
KBC said the small change in consumer sentiment in October suggested that the dramatic drop recorded the previous month reflected a real deterioration in the mood of Irish consumers rather than a statistical aberration.
It said the stabilisation in October indicated that Irish consumers may “feel they have braced themselves for the probable scale and range of painful adjustments that budget 2013 may inflict upon their household spending power”.
Upcoming increases in electricity and gas bills and comments from the Central Bank arguing that domestic wages needed to fall further to assist the competitiveness of the Irish economy were also seen as drags on sentiment.
The survey suggests that people’s outlook for the Irish economy has improved a little, with external reports on economic progress and a second straight monthly rise in house prices offering signs of stabilisation.
The index's three month moving average declined to 63.7 from 66.0.