Consumer confidence at 'exceptionally high level'

Tuesday 11 February 2014 12.09
Positive employment news and strong retail sales data have boosted consumer confidence figures
Positive employment news and strong retail sales data have boosted consumer confidence figures

Consumer confidence has been at an "exceptionally high level" in recent months, according to a new consumer market survey.

The latest Consumer Market Monitor, compiled by the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and the Marketing Institute of Ireland, put consumer confidence at a seven year high in the second half of 2013.

This positive trend has continued into 2014, with confidence rising again last month, according to the figures.

The monitor attributes the increase to positive employment news in recent months, as well as strong retail figures and an increase in activity in the property market.

"Consumer spending accounts for over 60% of GNP in Ireland and is a critical factor in driving any recovery of the economy," said Prof Mary Lambkin from UCD's Smurfit School, who was one of the authors of the report.

"Disposable incomes for households are still under pressure but a number of factors have led to an increase in consumer confidence.

"Positive news in the employment and property markets, strong retail sales in December, better economic stability following our exit from the bailout and an easing of fears about austerity measures are all starting to filter through to the economy."

The Consumer Market Monitor uses data collected from a number of sources - including the Central Statistics Office, Central Bank and European Commission - to create a model that measures consumer behaviour against a number of economic variables such as taxes and income levels.