Despite a barrage of bad news about the economy, Irish consumers are not feeling any gloomier about the prospects for the year ahead.
The latest KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index shows Irish consumer sentiment held steady in March.
It indicates that consumers are braced for a substantial lowering of living standards, but recent rate cuts from the European Central Bank have helped their feelings on personal finances.
However, 97% of those surveyed expect unemployment to continue to rise over the next 12 months.
KBC Chief Economist Austin Hughes says people are very concerned about the jobs market.