Consumer confidence in Northern Ireland falls to lowest level since the end of 2013
Consumer confidence in Northern Ireland fell sharply in the fourth quarter of 2017 as local political uncertainty and high inflation weighed down on people’s confidence levels.
The Danske Bank Northern Ireland Consumer Confidence Index registered a reading of 123 in the fourth quarter of 2017. This was significantly below the 135 registered in the third quarter of 2017 and the 132 reading in the fourth quarter of 2016.
It’s safe to conclude that the factors negatively impacting confidence outweighed the factors having a positive impact. More than a third of survey respondents said that political uncertainty and the lack of a Northern Ireland Executive had the largest negative impact on their confidence levels.
The rate of price rises also had a detrimental effect on confidence levels. 16 per cent of consumers stated that the impact of high inflation on their household finances had the largest negative impact on sentiment.
Despite the interest rate rise last November, 19 per cent of people still highlighted low interest rates as the factor having the largest positive impact on their confidence levels in 2017 Q4. But this was down slightly from the third quarter of 2017.