Brexit weighing on business sentiment, survey shows

Bank of Ireland economic pulse posts lowest reading of 2018

Worries over Brexit have dragged economic sentiment to a 2018 low, according to a new survey.

The Bank of Ireland economic pulse fell 2.7 points in November to 89.9, its lowest reading so far this year and 0.6 points lower than the same time in 2017.

Although consumer sentiment was broadly unchanged, business negativity increased with industry and service sectors particularly negative.

“While business sentiment was weighed down by Brexit, consumer sentiment was largely unchanged, with the festive mood helping to counter some of the Brexit gloom,” said Bank of Ireland group chief economist Dr Loretta O’Sullivan.


Brexit is still a concern for consumers, but one in five still says they will spend more over the Christmas holiday season than last year.

Retailers aren’t so confident. Only three in 10 said they believed turnover would be higher this year than last. And retailers close to the Border are even more sceptical.

The bank’s housing pulse increased on October, but remained 12.3 points lower than a year ago. While house price inflation has softened, the poor supply of housing means seven in 10 households believe prices will continue to rise in the next 12 months.

Bank of Ireland’s survey, conducted by Ipsos MRBI every month, gathers information from 1,000 households, 300 companies in industry, 1,000 service companies, 400 retailers and 200 construction companies.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business