Consumer confidence fell sharply in October, according to latest economic pulse from Bank of Ireland, with the measure dropping to the lowest point ever recorded in the series.

Three in four consumers surveyed expect unemployment to rise, the survey found.

"Households took a more pessimistic view of prospects for the economy and jobs this month as public health-related restrictions were tightened and fears of a 'no deal' Brexit increased," the report's author, Bank of Ireland Group chief economist Loretta O'Sullivan, noted.

The Bank of Ireland economic pulse surveys are conducted by Ipsos MRBI with 1,000 households and 2,000 businesses interviewed monthly on a range of topics.

These include the economy, their financial situation, spending plans, house price expectations and business activity.

Confidence among businesses also declined in the month, despite additional support for firms being included in the budget.

All four sectoral categories - services, industry, retail and construction - posted weaker readings, with the services sector recording the biggest decline amid further restrictions impacting the hospitality industry in particular.

The housing pulse bucked the general trend in October with just over a third of those surveyed expecting house prices to increase in the coming 12 months.

The survey also found that one in ten is planning to buy or build a home in the year ahead.

The October survey was conducted before Level 5 restrictions came into effect so further declines in sentiment would not be unexpected.

"The Economic Pulse dropped sharply in October, with both consumer and business confidence well down on the month. This is disappointing but not surprising given the backdrop to this month's survey," Dr O'Sullivan said in her commentary.

"Heightened Covid and Brexit uncertainty saw households and firms pare back their expectations for the economy, business activity and jobs and with Level 5 restrictions now imposed, the growth outlook for the fourth quarter of the year is challenging," she added.