Putting concerns on hold: Shoppers to splash out €5bn this Christmas despite falling confidence
Irish households are expected to spend almost €5bn on goods this December, despite falling consumer sentiment.
In October, worries about household finances and the impact of a no-deal Brexit pushed consumer confidence to its lowest level since August 2013.
However, it appears that shoppers will be putting their concerns on hold and engaging in increased spending over the festive period, according to the latest economic outlook from Ibec.
Households are forecast to spend €1.6bn more in December when compared to the average monthly spend this year. This works out at around €940 extra in household expenditure during the month, up €50 from two years ago.
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Nonetheless, for many retailers the benefits of a growth in consumer spending will be tempered by both competition from online, and increased cross-Border shopping as a result of the weakness in sterling, according to Ibec.
The lobby group points to recent figures from the Central Bank on the spending habits on Irish debit and credit cards, which showed that 28pc of all card transactions are taking place online.
December is traditionally the busiest time of the year for shop owners. For some goods categories, the Christmas period is especially crucial.
The last month of the year accounts for over 18pc of sales in books, toys, and games outlets.
In addition, 16pc of sales in department stores and 15pc of sales in electrical goods retailers are made in December, according to the report.
So far this year, retail sales are up 3pc in value, as strong wage and employment growth translated into consumer demand.
Elsewhere, two out of every five credit and debit card payments were contactless in the third quarter of this year, as consumers increasingly shun chip and pin options.