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Personal finances

Irish consumer confidence hits highest level since recession

Ireland is now the fourth most confident country in Europe, overtaking the UK for the first time in almost nine years.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IN Ireland has hit its highest level since the recession and we are now the fourth most confident country in Europe.

That’s according to the latest Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions.

It measures attitudes on topics including personal finance and job prospects each quarter.

Ireland’s consumer confidence index score hit 102 in the second quarter of 2017, up two points from Q4 2016, and its highest level since Q4 2007 when it stood at 108.

A score over 100 indicates degrees of optimism, while below 100 signifies degrees of pessimism.

Irish confidence overtook the UK’s (which now stands at 99) for the first time in nearly nine years.

In Europe, only Denmark, Turkey and Germany are more confident than Ireland. The Philippines has the highest score globally (130), while Greece has the lowest (52).

Irish trends 

Some 58% of Irish consumers are feeling positive about their personal finances and job prospects, the highest levels since the recession.

Positivity trend Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions

Click here for a larger image of the above table.

Meanwhile, 67% have changed spending habits to save money and 44% feel now is a good time to make purchases, the second highest level since the recession.

The index also found that 35% of Irish consumers have switched to cheaper grocery brands to save money – an activity that is often regarded as a barometer of consumer sentiment and behaviour. That’s the  lowest percentage since the recession.

Nielsen’s commercial director in Ireland Matt Clark said: “Increasing consumer confidence has been a continuing trend in Ireland over the last few years due to a steady improvement in the Irish economic situation.

This increase in confidence has translated to consumers spending more on groceries, driving both volume and value growth in the sector, which is good news for Irish manufacturers and retailers.

The scores are derived by measuring attitudes among more than 30,000 internet consumers in 63 countries.

Read: Many Irish retailers think Brexit will do more damage to their business than the recession>

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