DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish consumers remain upbeat about prospects for the economy following Britain’s vote to exit the European Union but cautious about how much they will personally gain from surging economic growth, a survey showed on Tuesday.
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index stood at 102.0 in April, almost unchanged from 101.9 a month earlier. That kept it close to a seven-month high of 103.1 in January and well ahead of a two-year low of 96.2 in December.
Views on the outlook for the Irish economy were at their highest level since last August, the authors said. Ireland’s economy has posted the fastest growth in Europe for the past three years and unemployment has fallen to 6.2 percent from a 2012 high of 15.1 percent.
The threats posed by neighbouring Britain’s decision to quit the European Union and the election of U.S. President Donald Trump “appear less immediate” in the wake of the strong economic and jobs data at home, they said.
But household expectations about their personal finances worsened noticeably with only one-in-four reporting an improvement in their current financial circumstances.
“The April survey suggests that ‘macro’ concerns eased as the immediate fallout from Brexit and Trump-related concerns has been less than expected,” KBC chief economist Austin Hughes said.
“However, with only one in four consumers reporting an improvement in their household finances, the scope for any substantial ‘feel-good’-driven pick-up in consumer spending appears limited.”
Reporting by Conor Humphries; editing by Padraic Halpin/Mark Heinrich