Irish consumers believe things are looking up

Irish shoppers expect the economy to improve and unemployment to fall further this year.

Consumer sentiment last month was at the highest level in almost seven years after an upbeat December.

The latest KBC/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index increased to 84.6, compared to 64.2 a year ago.

"What we're seeing is some response to the Christmas sales, and probably to the new car registration," said Austin Hughes, Chief Economist with KBC Bank.

"They're still nervous about the world … but they're a little more confident that the Irish economy is moving in the right direction."

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