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Irish consumers are happier than they have been in seven years

The report says that Irish consumers are increasingly confident in the Irish economy.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

IRISH CONSUMER SENTIMENT rose for the third month in a row in February, bringing consumer sentiment to its highest point in seven years.

The ESRI/KBC report tracks consumer confidence in the Irish economy. In January, it stood at 84.6, rising to 85.5 last month.

The report comments on the increase in spending, though the report says this is not a dramatic increase just yet.

“We don’t think a dramatic pick-up in spending is already underway even if the trend should improve through the coming year. This means there is a risk that the buying climate element of the survey weakens significantly in the near future.

“The speed and scale of any pull-back may give some clues as to whether Irish consumers are starting to plan for a notably healthier economic and financial future.”

The report says that the Irish economy has gotten less negative, rather than notably more positive.

“The rise in the index is primarily the result of a reduction in the negative influences on sentiment rather than the emergence of an array of extremely positive factors boosting confidence.”

The report’s authors say that the results are surprising, even to them.

“We think the make-up of the February results is a little surprising and may prompt some correction in the index in the next month or two. Of course, a weaker buying climate could be offset by further gains in other components of the survey.”

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