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.
While the fourth quarter of 2021 as a whole was one of growth for the Dublin private sector, the sadly familiar concerns around the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic were at the fore at the end of the year amid the emergence of the Omicron variant. Firms will be hoping that disruption is less pronounced than in previous waves and that 2022 finally brings an end to restrictions on operations.
Q4 2021 was another strong quarter for retail in Dublin. Total expenditure by consumers in the Capital expanded by 5.1% YoY, with significant gains seen in the Entertainment sector in spite of tightening restrictions on hospitality. Discretionary spending in department and clothing stores was subdued and is a disappointing conclusion to what was another challenging year for bricks-and-mortar outlets.
Retailers often refer to this time of year as the 'golden quarter', when a significant proportion of annual trade is done. The data in this Dublin Economic Monitor, particularly the consumer spending and labour market indicators, suggests that the economy has been shifting through the gears to deliver the long hoped for 'bounce back'. The expectation is that the recovery will sustain into 2022 but notes of caution around inflation, labour shortages and Covid-19 cases are growing louder.