Tuesday, December 31 11:16:04
Retail Ireland today projected that consumer spending will rise by 1.3pc in 2014, the first such increase since the start of the recession.
In its New Year statement, the group said that despite recent positive indications, the sector remains under severe pressure. Consumers will continue to benefit from low inflation next year, due to intense competition in the sector.
Retail Ireland Director Stephen Lynam, said: "2014 is likely to see the first increase in consumer spending for many years. While forecasted growth of 1.3pc is low, it is a move in the right direction. Spending fell in 2012 and was static in 2013. At present, goods inflation is in negative territory as shops battle for footfall. Intense competition in the retail sector is likely to keep prices down in 2014."
"The recovery in the sector is fragile and Government must ensure that no extra costs or unnecessary regulations are imposed as recovery takes hold. Keeping costs under control is essential if we are to create new jobs. At the height of the boom many costs, including wages, spiralled out of control, we cannot allow this to happen again. Many retailers remain in survival mode and pay expectations need to reflect economic realities."
"Many retailers reported a positive start to December, a fall off in sales in the run up to Christmas and a busy post-Christmas period. However, recent news coverage is only anecdotal. Official CSO data, to be released at the end of January, will give the complete picture."