consumer Archives - Kelly Rahill Accountants

Consumer sentiment slumps further as Brexit rumbles on

Consumer sentiment fell for a fourth successive month for the first time since late 2012 as uncertainty over Brexit continued to weigh on confidence, a survey showed today. 

While the economy here has remained the fastest growing in the EU throughout three years of Brexit talks, consumer confidence took a hit in recent months as the prospects of a no-deal British exit rose. 

The KBC Bank consumer sentiment index sank to 69.5 last month from 75.3 in September, the lowest level in over six years. The index stood at 93.5 a year ago. 

“There is little doubt that the ongoing decline in consumer confidence is largely as a result of continuing nervousness around Brexit,” KBC Bank Ireland chief economist Austin Hughes said. 

“Whereas risks are large and one-sided from a consumer confidence perspective, this has to be weighed against the current reality of healthy gains in employment and improving incomes. So, spending hasn’t stopped but it is notably slower than it might otherwise be,” Mr Hughes said. 

He added that the October reading may also hint at a measure of disappointment with the budget for 2020 when the Government did not implement the tax cuts and spending increases of recent years to set aside funds for firms most exposed to Brexit. 

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Consumer price growth slows in July – CSO

Consumer price growth slows in July – CSO

Consumer prices rose by 0.5% in July compared to the same month of 2018, according to the Central Statistics Office.

That represents a significant slowdown in the pace of inflation, which stood at 1.1% in the year to June and 1.7% in April.

In the year to July the cost of housing and utilities – including water, electricity and fuel – rose by 4%, while alcohol and tobacco prices were up 2.5%.

That was counteracted somewhat by a 6.8% fall in communications costs, with furnishings and household equipment costs down 3.8%.

According to the CSO insurance prices are up 0.9% in the past year, however the cost of motor insurance in particular is down 4.9%.

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Consumers spent €1.7 billion online in March

Consumers spent €1.7 billion online in March

New figures from the Central Bank show that there are more payment cards than people in this country, with just over six million active credit or debit cards in circulation.

In the first three months of the year, Irish people spent just over €1.7 billion using those cards – that is equivalent to the Government’s health budget for the whole year.

The Central Bank figures show that for every €10 we spent using a costly credit card, we spent €53 with a debit card.

In that three month period, Irish consumers conducted 244 million point of sale transactions using debit cards – that does not include taking cash out of ATMs .

The average spend using a debit card was just over €40.

Using credit cards, consumers here made 34 million transactions, with an average spend of €80 – suggesting that consumers use credit cards for more expensive things.

Debit card spending grew by 19% year on year in March, while credit card spending grew by 10%.

The Central Bank figures also reveal that Irish consumers are spending more on online shopping as well.

Consumers bought €1.7 billion worth of stuff on the internet in March alone – that is the cost of the National Children’s Hospital spent in just one month.

Online shopping now accounts for half of all credit card spending and a quarter of all debit card spending.

According to the Central Bank, we are also spending more on overseas trips.

On average €0.5 billion a month went through credit and debit cards physically used outside of Ireland, including ATM withdrawals.

That amounts to a total of €1.6 billion spent abroad in the first three months of the year, 7% more than the same time last year.

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