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Irish consumer confidence surprisingly improves


Consumer sentiment in Ireland improved in November, against all the odds.

The country is in the process of a multi-billion euro bailout from the EU and International Monetary Fund and thousands of people took to the streets of Dublin at the weekend to protest about the government’s austerity measures, but data shows the confidence stabilised during the month.

KBC Ireland and the Economic and Social Research Institute’s Consumer Sentiment Index was at 48.4 in November, which is down year-on-year but 0.3 points up on October.

Torlach Denihan, Director of the Retail Ireland, the group representing the retail sector, said it was welcome news for the industry, which has experienced difficulty of late.

“It is also worth noting that the major decline in consumer sentiment over the previous four months was not matched by an equivalent further sharp decline in retail sales,” he added.

“The combination of the upcoming budget and the recently published four-year plan means that consumers will soon have a greater degree of certainty about the future. This should help more normal consumption patterns to emerge.”

Last week the Central Statistics Office revealed that the volume of retail sales in October, not including the motor trade, decreased by 0.5 per cent year-on-year.

An annual decrease of 1.6 per cent in the value of retail sales was also reported by the governmental agency for the month.

Published on Wednesday 01 December by Editorial Assistant

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