Consumer sentiment improved slightly to hit its strongest level in eight months in February, a survey showed on Friday, as mild weather, lower petrol prices and increased confidence about the jobs market eased cost-of-living concerns.
The Credit Union Consumer Sentiment index rose to 55.6 in February from 55.2 in January. That was up from September's 14-year low of 42.1, but well below the 77.0 recorded in the February 2022 survey, taken before Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The reading indicates the Irish economy has again proven resilient and the worst fears that emerged a year ago have not been realised, the survey's authors said in a statement.
While consumer spending plans remain weak, "we may be past 'peak fear'," the statement said.