Consumer sentiment rises despite cost of living worries

Published date23 June 2022
Publication titleIrish Times (Dublin, Ireland)
The latest KBC Bank Ireland index rose to 57.7 last month from 55.5 in May but "it is not entirely clear why", said the bank's chief economist Austin Hughes. One possible interpretation of the data, said Mr Hughes, is that Irish households feel they are now "braced for the difficulties that lie ahead"

"At current levels," Mr Hughes said, "sentiment is awful rather than apocalyptic, suggesting the Irish consumer is down but not entirely out".

With household costs sharply higher across the board in the early part of 2022 - turbocharged by the war in Ukraine, which has pushed global energy prices to around record levels - Irish consumers have continued to add to an "already large savings war chest" throughout the year, Mr Hughes said.

"In such circumstances, it could be that the onset of summer sales and holiday spending prompted a slightly less pessimistic assessment of their financial circumstances by Irish consumers," he said.

Cut back

That said, just 5 per cent of consumers surveyed in June by KBC Bank felt that they did not need to make any adjustments to deal with the rising cost of...

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