Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Irish consumer confidence plunged the most in a decade in December as the government unveiled new budget cuts and households grew more concerned about a breakup of the euro area.
The consumer sentiment index fell to 49.2 from 60.1 in November, and the 10.9-point drop was the biggest since August 2001, KBC Bank Ireland and the Economic & Social Research Institute in Dublin said today in an e-mailed statement. A gauge of consumers’ outlook for the economy dropped to the lowest in 11 months.
“We previously cautioned that the rise in consumer sentiment in October looked somewhat excessive,” said Austin Hughes, chief economist at KBC Bank Ireland, referring to the gauge’s surge to 63.7 from 53.3 in September. “We think the drop in the index in December may also be exaggerated.”
A gauge of consumers’ view of current economic conditions fell to 74.2 from 80.1, while expectations for the next 12 months dropped to 32.4, the lowest since January 2011, from 46.6.
--Editors: Fergal O’Brien, Simone Meier
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