Irish consumer sentiment is up - but business sentiment down

Brexit caution has set in for Irish firms...

The Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse registered a score of 90.4 in September, this was the poorest reading so far in 2016 and down by 3.3 on August.

The overall index combines results of the bank's Consumer and Business Pulses. During the month consumers felt more upbeat, but Irish businesses are feeling more cautious.

Dr Loretta O’ Sullivan, Group Chief Economist, Bank of Ireland said:

"While sentiment remains at a high level, Brexit has led to an increase in uncertainty and a general softening in sentiment is evident when the recent Pulse readings are compared with those earlier in the year.

"While we saw an overall lift last month, business sentiment is a little unsettled at the moment as firms continue to assess the impact."

The Business Pulse contracted as there was an over all message that businesses are scaling back their immediate plans.

"The construction sector is leading the way when it comes to job creation, with some 29% of firms planning on hiring in the next 3 months. Across the other sectors sentiment has dropped this month, following a strong performance last month in the retail and industry sectors," Dr Loretta O'Sullivan added. The construction sub-index rose significantly.

The largest fall-off in business sentiment was in Munster, while Leinster excluding Dublin had the smallest drop. 

Most survey respondents expect house prices to increase over the next 12 months, with one in four (28%) anticipating increases in excess of 5%. Rents are also expected to continue to rise.