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.
Elevated spending on necessities and household goods helped overall retail sales activity in Dublin make a small gain at the end of 2020. Meanwhile restrictions continue to place tremendous pressure on the discretionary, travel and entertainment sectors. Online sales continued to experience increases through the 2020 holiday season, consistent with spending patterns in other countries. There is speculation that once restrictions are lifted, pent up demand could help the travel, entertainment and restaurant sectors to recover.
The COVID-19 pandemic continued to take its toll on the Dublin economy in the final three months of the year, with the lockdown in late-October and November hitting activity. The particular impact of the pandemic on service providers was behind the overall decline, and the relative importance of services to the Dublin economy meant that the capital underperformed relative to the Rest of Ireland over the course of the quarter. With COVID-19 cases rising sharply again in January, the first quarter looks set to be another extremely challenging time for local firms.
The Economic Monitor reflects an eventful quarter which saw strong bounce backs in economic performance quickly run out of steam. This is an unfortunate and inevitable consequence of the ‘stop-go’ cycle that dealing with Covid-19 has pushed us into. Hope for 2021 emerged on the news of a potential vaccine. Of course, Brexit looms large and could lead to an even more complex operating environment in January without a deal.