Consumer confidence rebounds at the beginning of 2018
Consumer confidence in Northern Ireland bounced back strongly at the start of the year.
The Danske Bank Northern Ireland Consumer Confidence Index registered a reading of 142 in the first quarter of 2018. This represented a significant increase compared with the final quarter of 2017 when the index stood at 123. It was also slightly higher than the 141 posted in the same period last year.
Compared with the last quarter of 2017, consumers started this year feeling more confident about their current financial position, how they expect their financial position to change, their job security and the amount they expect to spend on big ticket items.
Eighteen per cent of consumers highlighted low interest rates as the factor that had the biggest positive impact on their confidence levels, while 10 per cent signalled that rising house prices made them feel more confident. However, despite the sharp rise in the consumer confidence index, almost 40 per cent of people weren’t sure which individual factor had the biggest positive impact on them.
As has been the case for a number of quarters now, more than 30 per cent of consumers surveyed continued to identify political uncertainty and the lack of an Executive as the factor that had the largest negative impact on their confidence levels.