"There is also a strong sense of an upswing that is being earned or even endured rather than enjoyed"
Irish consumers' feeling about the economy remained largely unchanged in April according to the KBC Bank/ESRI consumer sentiment index.
The report notes that "Irish consumer sentiment held broadly steady in April as increased caution about the outlook for household finances offset a slightly more positive view of prospects for the Irish economy."
The index edged down from 102.9 to 101.9 - despite the fact that ‘Macro’ worries have fallen as the impact of Brexit and Donald Trump's election victory have been smaller than expected.
Despite Ireland's sustained economic growth and falls in unemployment, only one in four consumers reporting an improvement in their financial circumstances.
The report adds that "Aggregate gains in consumer spending likely to remain dependent on jobs growth rather than ‘feel-good’ factor."
Austin Hughes, Chief Economist, KBC Bank Ireland commented on today's figures, "The details of the survey suggest a mood of cautious optimism still prevails but there is also a strong sense of an upswing that is being earned or even endured rather than enjoyed."
He notes that "Caution is the most important characteristic of Irish consumer confidence at present" and that consumers are are struggling to make sense of an uncertain economic outlook.