Consumer index shows 'horrible sense' that Brexit could bring something 'really nasty' for Ireland

Consumer index shows 'horrible sense' that Brexit could bring something 'really nasty' for Ireland

Concerns over a hard Brexit and the world economy have seen Irish consumer confidence slip to its lowest point in almost four years.

It is the third month in a row that sentiment is down, according to the latest KBC Bank/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index.

The modest drop in October was enough to see confidence fall to a 46-month low and means it is the fastest three-month decline since 2010.

Chief Economist with KBC Bank, Austin Hughes, says despite the economy doing well, the bigger picture around Brexit has people concerned.

Mr Hughes said: "They're seeing and hearing about an Irish economy that's doing well and they are probably seeing that in terms of either traffic congestion or higher house prices.

"So there is a sense that life is continuing, but there is just this horrible sense, as there was maybe 10 years ago, that something really nasty could happen if we get a hard Brexit in a few month's time."

However, he said it is not panic stations yet as consumers largely remain positive despite this recent drop.

He said: "Sentiment has come down very sharply, it's the fastest three-month fall since 2010 and it tells you how people's views have changed.

"Now, it isn't that the end of the world is nigh, the reality is that consumers are still generally positive about the economy and about the outlook for their household finances."

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