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Irish consumer sentiment steady near pandemic high in September By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People keeping social distance queue outside a Penneys clothes shop, as a phased reopening by appointment shopping following Government guidance begins, after an extended lockdown due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Dublin,

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Irish consumer sentiment remained steady in September just below the two-year high recorded in June, a survey showed on Thursday, as the government prepared to lift almost all pandemic restrictions within weeks.

With more than 90% of adults vaccinated (one of the highest in the world), the government set Oct. 22 as the target date for removing most restrictions.

KBC Bank Ireland’s consumer sentiment dipped to 86.4 from 86.5 in August. The coronavirus pandemic high of 87.2 was reached in June when restaurants and bars reopened after the third longest government shutdown.

Austin Hughes, chief economist at KBC Ireland, stated that the weakest parts of the survey related to macroeconomic conditions. This was partly due to concern about an international plan for establishing minimum corporate tax rates.

Hughes stated that “Irish consumers sentiment remained broadly stable in September due to a focus on possible threats to the economy ranging from global taxes changes to high public debt contrasted to evidence of progress towards the pandemic.”

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