Sharp fall in Northern Ireland consumer confidence

Consumer confidence in Northern Ireland fell sharply in the second quarter of 2018.

The Danske Bank Northern Ireland Consumer Confidence Index fell back to 131, down from 142 in the first quarter of the year and 139 a year ago.

This fall in consumer confidence reverses some of the pickup in confidence levels that were observed at the beginning of 2018. The latest index value of 131 is above the four-year low observed at the end of last year, but represents a sharp fall from the first quarter of this year.

Consumers continued to highlight the local political impasse and high inflation as factors having a negative impact on their confidence levels.

Falls were recorded over the quarter and over the year in all four parts of the index, covering how consumers feel about their current finances, future finances, job security and future spending.

Despite the fall in confidence, the survey did reveal some good news. Eighteen per cent of respondents identified rising wages as the factor having the largest positive impact on confidence, suggesting that the relatively strong performance of the local labour market is putting upward pressure on wage growth.

Read the Consumer Confidence 2018 Q2 report here