Irish Economy: Consumer sentiment increased in December 2013 to 79.8, from 71.0 in November. This is the highest reading since June 2007 and the 3-month moving average rose to 75.7 from 73.4 in November.
The Consumer Sentiment Index comprises two
sub-indices; an index of consumer expectation that focuses on how consumers view
prospects over the next 12 months and an index of current economic conditions,
focusing on consumers’ present situation.
The data was obtained from telephone interviews during the first two weeks of the month with around 800 completed questionnaires. The data were re-weighted in line with gender, age and level of educational attainment to ensure the data is fully representative of the national population of adults. Each index is calculated by computing the relative scores (the percent giving favourable replies minus the percent giving unfavourable replies (the balance), plus 100) for each question used in the different indices. Those who reply “Don’t Know”, “Remain the same” are excluded from the index calculations. Each relative score is rounded to the nearest whole number. The sum of the relative scores is then divided by the base period total for each index.
Commenting on the results Kevin
Timoney, ESRI, said: “December’s strong performance is reflected across all
categories. Forward-looking views on the economy over the coming 12 months
improved to a seven-year peak. The index of consumer expectations increased from
64.8 in November to 72.7 this month.
“The December 2013 reading was the strongest in six and a half years. As such, it points towards a clear improvement in the mood of consumers after what has been a very painful period. The details show that a majority of consumers are now positive about the outlook for the Irish economy and the prospect for jobs. However, the number of consumers who think their personal finances will worsen in the coming year is more than two and a half times as great as the number that expects an improvement. This is likely to restrain any growth in consumer spending in the coming year.”
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