World Economy

Irish CSI Highest in 17 Months

Irish CSI Highest in 17 MonthsIrish CSI Highest in 17 Months

Irish consumer sentiment inched up in July to its highest level in 17 months, a survey showed on Monday, on strong economic growth and signs consumers may be a little less worried about the economic impact of Brexit.

The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index climbed to 105.1 in July from 105.0 in June, its highest level since February last year, though well below the 15-year high of 108.6 posted in January 2016, Reuters reported.

Ireland’s economy has been the best performing in Europe for the past three years, with unemployment falling sharply and house prices rising.

Concerns about neighboring Britain’s vote to leave the European Union last June have weighed on sentiment, but the authors said there were signs concerns were easing.

Fears that US President Donald Trump planned tax reform might damage Ireland’s foreign-investment dependent economy also appear to be abating, amid a legislative logjam in Washington, said Austin Hughes, KBC Bank Ireland chief economist.

“Our sense is that Irish consumers had braced themselves for some fallout from Brexit and/or changed US economic policies but the first half of 2017 has proven notably less traumatic for the Irish economy than may have been feared,” he said.

While consumers view of the overall economy was strong, there was a slight fall in consumers’ views of their personal financial position in July compared with the previous month. “Our sense is that this reflects limited income growth and the perception that they are not sharing adequately in the widely heralded economic recovery,” Hughes said.

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