Icelanders appear to be relatively upbeat in spite of strong headwinds and a highly uncertain near-term economic outlook. Their interest in house purchases, overseas travel, and car purchases has picked up, perhaps indicating that they think they have some scope to step up consumption spending as the year progresses, after having tightened their belts in H2/2018.
Pessimism has subsided
The Gallup Consumer Confidence Index (CCI), published this morning, rose by just over a point in March, to 91.6. This leaves it somewhat below the 100-point threshold indicating parity between upbeat and downbeat sentiment among consumers. Even so, consumer sentiment has rallied recently after bottoming out in November, when the CCI measured 75.8 points. The index has therefore risen by 16 points in the past four months.