Consumer confidence 'higher than expected'

A new survey suggests consumer confidence is higher than many people expected, given the recent economic downturn.

A new survey suggests consumer confidence is higher than many people expected, given the recent economic downturn.

The survey of 1,006 adults (aged 15 plus) was undertaken for Irish Life by Behaviour & Attitudes during late November and early December.

According to the survey, 72% of adults expect their personal financial position to be the same or better in 2008 than it was in 2007. Of that number, 18% expect their own financial situation to be better while 54% expect to be the same as last year. On the other hand, 29% expect to be worse off in the coming year.

While the figure for those who expect to be better off (18%) is down from 26% and 25% in 2007 and 2006 respectively, the decline is smaller than many expected.

Head of marketing with Irish Life Brendan McEvoy said that the timing of the research is particularly important.

"This research was carried out in early December last in the period leading up to the budget," he said.

"Most of the economic talk of that time was of worsening economic conditions, falling house prices and potential or actual job losses in different parts of the country. It's very encouraging that so many people remained optimistic about their outlook for the year ahead despite this and it reflects an underlying confidence about people’s own personal circumstances."

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