Consumer sentiment has improved slightly this month, boosted by the measures announced in Budget 2024.
The latest Credit Union Consumer Sentiment Index registered a pick up in the public’s mood, following weakness in recent months.
The index stood at 60.4 in the month, compared to 58.8 in September. However that still leaves it below the reading for August, and well below the survey’s 27-year average of 84.9.
People were less negative about their finances in the month, while spending plans also improved.
However caution remained, with consumers still concerned about the higher cost of living and the outlook for jobs.
The report’s author, economist Austin Hughes, said that the improvement in sentiment in Ireland ran counter to a gloomier picture in other countries – suggesting the turnaround was based on domestic factors.
He pointed to the household support measures announced in Budget 2024 as a major factor in that.
“Encouragingly, a modest easing in concerns in relation to their household finances coincided with an improvement in consumer spending plans,” he said. “It should be noted that the October reading points to considerable caution in relation to the buying climate at present.
“However, it may be that Budget measures have made more consumers both able and willing to spend.”
They survey also pointed to the different economic circumstances facing a variety of Irish consumers.
A quarter of respondents said that, while they felt the Irish economy was doing well, their own circumstances did not reflect that.
Meanwhile less than one in five said they were benefitting either a litttle, or a lot, from an improving economy.
A further 10% said the economy was not doing well, but they are.
However the most common answer – representing a third of respondents