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One-third of Irish people fear EU vote will harm economy

GroupM Ireland: Bill Kinlay
GroupM Ireland: Bill Kinlay

By Colm Kelpie

Almost two-thirds of Irish people are worried about the future of the Republic in the wake of the UK vote to pull out of the EU, a survey suggests.

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But despite the concern, consumer confidence is holding steady, with just one-third believing the economy will deteriorate as a result.

The survey, by the GroupM media group, is one of the first major gauges of Irish people's attitudes towards the so-called Brexit vote.

Two months on from the poll, the survey shows that while people are concerned about a potential adverse impact, they're continuing to spend, with the majority not putting off planned purchases.

"While uncertainty in the mind of the Irish consumer is evident, Brexit has not shattered consumer confidence and willingness to spend on consumer goods," said Bill Kinlay, chief executive of GroupM Ireland.

"Consumers are taking a cautious approach to their finances - budgeting more, paying off debts, but have no drastic plans to curb future purchasing."

The survey's conclusions backs up the findings from the latest Consumer Market Monitor from the UCD Smurfit School and the Marketing Institute of Ireland, which showed that consumer spending has been unaffected by the Brexit debate.

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But that measured sentiment in the three months to the end of June, with the referendum at the tail end of that month.

The survey also found that 43% of Irish people remain confused about what Brexit means for Ireland. While 33% feel the state of the Irish economy will get worse, about the same amount - 32% - believe it will improve. About 35% say it will stay the same, while 15% think their employment prospects will get worse.

Belfast Telegraph