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Irish Consumer Confidence Weakens Ahead Of Brexit

Irish consumer sentiment deteriorated for the third consecutive month to a near six-year low in September as concerns about a chaotic Brexit made consumers more nervous, survey data from KBC Bank showed Monday.

The consumer confidence index fell to 75.3 in September from 77.2 in August. This was the lowest score since November 2013.

The bank said the decline in consumer sentiment was in stark contrast to moderate monthly improvements in similar confidence indicators elsewhere.

Four of the five main components of the consumer sentiment were lower in September than in August. The only indicator to improve was consumers' assessment of the buying climate which rose slightly to 116.9 from 115.1 a month ago.

The current conditions index slid to 107.0 and the consumer expectations indicator fell to 54.1. The outlook indices for general economic conditions and employment dropped to 22.5 and 51.1, respectively.

The index measuring past personal financial situation decreased to 97.1 and that for future financial conditions fell to 88.7 in September.

Austin Hughes, chief economist at KBC Bank Ireland, said "Whether Irish consumer sentiment has now reached peak Brexit gloom depends how still volatile political conditions in the UK develop and how related decisions translate into economic outcomes in the months ahead."

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