Consumer sentiment dips in September amid ongoing uncertainty

Survey suggests consumers are finding economic outlook difficult to assess

Irish consumer sentiment fell slightly in September reflecting an uptick in uncertainty.

The latest KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI sentiment index edged lower to 102 in September from 102.7 the previous month.

Responses given in September to a number of the key questions in the sentiment survey suggest that Irish consumers are having difficulties making sense of an increasingly unclear economic outlook, the report said.

“In recent months, developments such as the UK’s Brexit vote and the outsized 26 per cent jump in Irish GDP have made it notably harder for the average consumer to assess the implications for them of unfolding economic news,” it added.


The drop in sentiment here was at odds with developments in comparable sentiment measures for the US and the euro area, while in the UK consumer confidence posted a notably stronger than expected gain to recover all of the ground lost in the wake of the Brexit vote.

The behaviour of these consumer metrics in other countries hints that domestic, or to be more precise Ireland-specific rather than global developments, prompted the slip in Irish consumer confidence last month, the report said.

Among the domestic issues highlighted by the report were the European Commission's tax ruling against Apple.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times