A recent survey has suggested that consumer confidence is on the rise, with the success of the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out appearing to be the major factor in this change of mood. Danske Bank’s consumer confidence index has risen from 124 up to 137 over the first three months of 2021, with many people who took the survey indicating that they had much more confidence over both their present and their future financial state. They were also feeling more secure in their employment status.
Renewed Confidence Thanks To Successful Vaccination Programme
Nearly half of the survey respondents pointed out that the reason behind the renewed confidence in their financial circumstances was the vaccination roll-out programme, which has now been administered over 1.3 million times in Northern Ireland. There were still concerns over the ongoing Covid restrictions from some of the respondents as well as worries over Brexit and its effect on trading arrangements.
Danske Bank chief economist Conor Lambe is quoted in a Belfast Telegraph article as saying:
“This latest rise in consumer confidence in Northern Ireland is a welcome development and our survey showed that the continued rollout of the coronavirus vaccine programme was a key driver behind the rise in sentiment in the first quarter of the year.”
Mr Lambe added: “Looking ahead, I would expect the gradual easing of the coronavirus restrictions and the reopening of the consumer-focused sectors of the econom y to lead to a rise in household spending over the coming months and contribute to the local economy beg inning to grow again from the second quarter of the year onwards.
Still Considerable Uncertainty Around
But he did also urge a note of caution in the article saying:
“There is still considerable uncertainty around the future path of the pandemic, unemployment is projected to rise this year and people who have been furloughed may have seen their income squeezed.”
It is probably right to urge caution at this moment in time. Although the vaccination programme has been wonderfully successful the tragedy that is ensuing in India right now shows that there should be no lowering of our guard, so the careful approach to opening up society as a whole is sensible. There is no doubt that things will get back to normal in the future but the wrong decisions and actions right now could set us back months.
That is all for now, if you need any help or advice in the meantime please give our offices a call on 028 3752 2909.