Consumer confidence on rise with a quarter of households planning to buy a car – survey

One in three households considers it a good time to purchase big ticket items and a quarter intend to purchase a car in the next year, a survey by Bank of Ireland has found.

Almost four in ten consumers expect their household financial situation to improve in the next year, although just under half expect it to remain steady.

And almost two thirds now believe it is cheaper to buy your own home, rather than rent, according to the so-called Economic Pulse from Bank of Ireland.

The majority of consumers surveyed expect house prices and rents to increase over the next 12 months.

Dr Loretta O’ Sullivan, Group Chief Economist, said the survey shows that sentiment among businesses and consumers remain high.

“The consumer picture brightened in April, with households more positive about their own finances and also about employment prospects,” Dr O’Sullivan said.

“On the business side, sentiment was a little softer. While the Retail and Construction Pulses picked up in the month, the Industry and Services Pulses eased back.”

The overall Economic Pulse reading stood at 96 in April, broadly unchanged on March.

The consumer pulse was 95.6 in April, up 3.6 on March, while the business pulse was 96.1 in April, a decrease of 1.1 on March.

Just over a quarter – 27pc – said that their household financial situation improved over the past year, with almost half, 47pc, seeing no change.

One in three households, 35pc, considered it a good time to purchase big ticket items such as furniture and electrical goods, while a quarter said they are likely to buy a car in the next 12 months.

In terms of businesses, the April data shows that the number of firms expecting an increase in activity and employment in the next three months continues to exceed the number expecting a decrease.

44pc of Industry firms had seen an increase in business activity in the past three months, followed by 43pc in construction, 38pc in services and 37pc in retail.

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