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Irish consumer sentiment hits 7-month high - survey

General view of the skyline, in Dublin

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish consumer sentiment improved to its strongest level in seven months in January, a survey showed on Thursday, with the authors pointing to a softening of fuel prices and strong Irish economic data as fuelling the rise.

The Credit Union Consumer Sentiment index rose to 55.2 in January from 48.7 in December. That was up from a 14-year low of 42.1 recorded in September, but well below the 85.6 average registered by the survey over the past 27 years.

The strongest month-on-month changes were in those elements of the survey focussed on household finances, with consumers indicating more appetite for spending, the survey's authors said in a statement.

(Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Alex Richardson)