The Dublin City Region plays a pivitol role in the economy of Ireland. The Dublin Economic Monitor tracks the capital’s performance quarterly to provide insightful data.
Dublin and the broader Irish retail performance was generally stable YoY in Q4 2023. Dublin retail sales were up by 3.4% (SA) versus Q4 2022. Overall tourist spending grew for Dublin as well Ireland in the quarter. The growth rate for the Capital was an impressive 5.7% while tourist spending across Ireland grew by 8.7% compared to Q4 2022.
While firms in Dublin continued to expand their output at the end of 2023, the drop in new orders in the fourth quarter is a cause for concern. Companies will be hoping that this was just a blip amid weakness in construction at the end of the year and that inflows can pick up again at the start of 2024, thereby enabling them to keep increasing activity and boosting labour market prospects. While construction acted as a drag on the private sector in Q4, it was pleasing to see manufacturing output return to growth, joining services in expansion territory.
The year is ending with the economy continuing to demonstrate hard won momentum, particularly in the labour market. A note of caution has emerged in recent data which serves as a reminder that momentum is difficult to maintain in the face of ongoing economic headwinds and a higher interest rate environment. Weakening growth in business activity indicators and consumer spending measures suggest that the start of 2024 could be challenging.