The spending season is fast approaching but Irish retailers may not get any treats this Christmas period. The Irish Times reports that employers group Ibec has expressed concerns over the recent trend of low consumer spending following the vote for Brexit.
Recent figures released by Retail Ireland did show a slight increase in growth compared with this period last year. However, this growth of 1.1 per cent in the last quarter is at a significantly lower rate than earlier in the year, before the Brexit announcement. Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports that this was similar for other sectors. “While the value of sales for department stores, supermarkets and convenience stores grew by 1.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively, the figures represented a softening of the rate of growth seen in previous quarters,” he writes.
In similar news, the Irish Independent’s Charlie Weston reports on how the recent decline of the sterling has chiefly affected retailers who operate in border regions. Recent research suggests consumers are travelling across the border to avail of low cost clothing, alcohol, groceries, electronics, cosmetics and toys. This shopping trend has also transitioned to the online market as consumers are favouring UK-based online retailers. According to a recent survey carried out by iReach, one in four adults have already travelled north to shop and intend to return for shopping over the Christmas period.
Finally, car owners have been “thrown to the wolves” according a new report which has examined the 300 per cent increase in premiums some drivers have experienced in recent years. The report, which was drafted by The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), stated that “premiums have increased by 37 per cent in most cases, but in some cases premium hikes have been in the order of 200 percent to 300 per cent,” according to Irish Examiner political editor, Daniel McConnell.
Insurance companies have claimed that the rise in premiums are attached to an increase in claims but have released no evidence to support this claim, McConnell adds. According to the PIAB it is unacceptable for insurance companies to make public claims regarding the reasoning behind premium hikes and refuse to support them with appropriate evidence.