Irish consumer sentiment suffers sharpest drop since January – Reuters

December 22, 2021 by No Comments

Christmas shoppers walk along Grafton Street in Dublin, Ireland, December 19, 2021. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

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DUBLIN, Dec 22 (Reuters) – Irish consumer sentiment in December suffered its sharpest fall since January after the emergence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant forced the introduction of new restrictions, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The KBC Bank Ireland consumer sentiment index declined to 74.9 in December from 83.1 in November to hit its lowest level since February.

KBC Ireland chief economist Austin Hughes said consumers have been unsettled by the emergence of the Omicron variant and the realisation that the worst of the pandemic might not be behind them.

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He said a surge in inflation, and energy costs in particular, and the impact of new public health restrictions on employment, could also be weighing on sentiment.

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