Retail spending in Dublin surged to its highest point in seven years during the third quarter of this year, new figures reveal.
The easing of Covid-19 restrictions and pent-up demand resulted in retail expenditure expanding by 14.9pc on a quarter-on-quarter basis.
This is the highest growth recorded since 2014, according to the latest MasterCare SpendingPulse report, produced on behalf of Dublin’s four local authorities.
A recovery in spending levels in the discretionary and entertainment categories was the main catalyst, with increases of 64.5pc and 69.4pc respectively.
Although the improved figures were recorded from low bases, demand was driven by the easing of trading restrictions on retail outlets, hotels, restaurants and bars.
Despite falling back by 9pc from a record high in the second quarter of 2021, household goods spending remained broadly stable year-over-year, which has been interpreted as an ongoing signal of confidence among Dublin consumers.
There was a modest reversal of consumer trends towards online retail in the quarter, with eCommerce down by 5.3pc (QoQ). However, spending in this category was up 3.1pc (YoY).
On a year-over-year basis, Dublin retail spending grew by 10.5pc. Discretionary expenditure in department and clothing stores, which was up 13.5pc (YoY), was the main stimulant in the quarter.
The ‘necessities’ category remained robust, up 6.7pc (YoY), while entertainment spending was up 11.5pc (YoY) as consumers took advantage of opportunities to dine and drink outside the home.
Spending growth at a national level was considerably more limited in the third quarter of 2021, at 1.9pc (QoQ), but remained ahead by 9.5pc (YoY).
Spending by overseas tourists in Dublin continued to recover in Q3, with quarter-on-quarter and year-over-year growth of 40pc and 63.5pc respectively.
The strongest expansion was from the French market, where growth of over 71pc was recorded (QoQ). This was followed by the German (up 36.8pc) and UK (up 23.3pc) markets.
Expenditure by US and Chinese tourists remained “subdued” in the third quarter and is likely to take some time to recover, according to the report’s findings.
Commenting on the figures, Michael McNamara, Global Head of MasterCard SpendingPulse, said: “Overall retail activity in Dublin remains very positive with year-over-year growth rates rebounding from 2020.
“Year-on-year online spending growth may not seem impressive at 3.1pc. However, it is rather extraordinary that growth rates remain in positive territory and are holding on to the gains experienced last year.”