Irish consumer sentiment weakened in February, dropping from the four month high recorded in the previous month.
That is according to the latest KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index.
The index stood at 59.4 in February, down from 64.2 recorded in January.
"Monthly changes have been volatile but a decline in the three month moving average from 59.2 to 57.8 suggests there has been some weakening in the underlying trend in consumer sentiment of late," commented Austin Hughes, KBC Bank Ireland chief economist.
"The Irish consumer remains in a difficult place. Pressure on household finances is significant and there is considerable uncertainty about the current trajectory of the Irish economy even if there have been some encouraging developments of late," he added.
"In these circumstances, there is little likelihood that a pronounced 'feel good' factor will develop anytime soon," Mr Hughes concluded.
The largest drop in Irish consumer sentiment in February was seen in relation to the outlook for jobs, which was the strongest element of the January results.
The outlook for jobs in January was the highest since June 2007.
"Last month's decline likely reflects a correction of an excessively strong January number, he said.
In contrast to the jobs element of the survey, there was only a fractional decline in consumers' assessment of the outlook for the Irish economy.
"This may reflect the absence of any clearly negative driver of the sort that influenced thinking on unemployment as well as some positive impact from the promissory note deal," Mr Hughes said.
He also noted that it is not unusual for consumers' assessment of their own financial circumstances to deteriorate in February given the impact of various budget measures and the onset of Christmas credit card bills.
In addition, official house price data showed some weakening in December that contrasted with more upbeat industry commentary.