Irish consumer sentiment is improving again

Consecutive declines since January are over but uncertainty remains...

Consumer sentiment in Ireland enjoyed a tempered increase in April, with the KBC Bank/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index climbing just over two points to 102.7 last month.

It breaks the monthly declines that had been seen since January, but is still some way behind the 15-year record high we saw in consumer sentiment for the first month of 2016.

Despite the small improvement, the index also showed that household remain cautious, with their sentiment failing to reverse more than half the March decline.

Austin Hughes, chief economist with KBC Bank Ireland, said:

"The fractional rise in the index in April shouldn’t be interpreted as signalling a notable change for the better, but it does suggest that Irish consumers are not gripped by a newly returned pessimism.

"Instead, the mixed results of recent months suggest many consumers are struggling to make sense of an unclear economic environment."

The global economy and the possibility of a Brexit are two reasons for the prevailing air of uncertainty.