Irish consumer confidence rose after a four-month slump

FILE PHOTO: COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease in Dublin

KBC Bank Ireland’s Consumer sentiment Index rose to 57.7 in June from 55.5 in May. The June figures are in line with April’s levels, but far from the January 2022 high of 81.9 and the series average of 86.4.

“At current levels, the sentiment is more frightening than apocalyptic, indicating that the Irish consumer is frustrated but not completely out of place,” said Austin Hughes, KBC Ireland’s chief economist.

The index fell every month from February to May as concerns over the cost of living grew and fears of a global recession intensified.

Hughes said it was not yet clear what led to the improvement, as there had been no clear easing of forces that had dampened the mood of Irish consumers.

Consumers may feel ready for impending hardships, or respond to indications that government support measures are imminent, he said.

On the other hand, it could be “great technology and perhaps short-term improvement”.

The survey found that 59% of people cut down on non-essential purchases while 37% cut down on essential items. Only 5% of customers said they did not need to make any adjustments.

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