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Consumer optimism high but business sentiment weaker

Four in five people here think house prices will rise this year and consumer confidence remains high but there are signs that business sentiment has weakened.

Bank of Ireland’s Economic Pulse, which combines a range of measures of consumer and business sentiment into a single number index, stood at 92.4 in May, lower than in April or at the same time last year.
“In terms of sentiment, we’re seeing a mixed picture this month, with consumers holding steady but some softness on the business side weighing on the headline Economic Pulse,” said Dr Loretta O’Sullivan, group chief economist at Bank of Ireland.

Overall, households were slightly more upbeat about the current economic situation, but less sure about their own finances.
Confidence is higher and improving in Dublin, and weakest in Munster and Connacht/Ulster.

On the housing front, four in five think prices will rise this year and 70pc expect rents to increase.

Stripping out households, business confidence weakened in May. The majority of businesses do not expect to change their selling prices in the period ahead, but builders are more likely to pass on rising input costs (excluding labour).

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