Consumer confidence hits 15-year high ahead of election

CONSUMER confidence continues to rise, and has now hit a 15-year high.

Healthier household finances are behind the surge in confidence levels.

The KBC Bank/ESRI consumer sentiment index hit a high point in January that has not been seen since 2001.

This rise was despite people having a slightly more cautious view of the country’s economic prospects.

The sentiment index rose to 108.6 last month from 103.9 in December, taking it to its strongest level since February 2001, according to the figures released just ahead of the upcoming election.

Economist with KBC Bank Austin Hughes said the rise in confidence was mainly due to domestic developments, as confidence measures in other countries have declined lately.

This was particularly the case in the US and in the rest of the Eurozone.

Mr Hughes said: “Details of the January Irish sentiment survey suggests that Irish consumers were not blind to worries about the health of the global economy.

“However, it appears these were more than offset by growing optimism in relation to their personal finances,” he added.

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