Jump in spending by overseas tourists boosts retail spend in Dublin

Latest Dublin Economic Monitor shows rising employment but housing issues persist

Unemployment in the capital fell to 6.1 per cent during the fourth quarter

Unemployment in the capital fell to 6.1 per cent during the fourth quarter


Retail spend in Dublin rose by 6.1 per cent in the final quarter of 2017 on the back of a sharp rise in spending by overseas tourists.

According to new figures produced by Mastercard for the Dublin Economic Monitor, total tourism spend in the capital rose by 5.9 per cent versus the same period a year earlier.

During the fourth quarter, spending by US visitors shot up 16 per cent but this gain was partly offset by a 7 per cent decline in spend from British tourists and a 14.3 per cent drop from Chinese ones. Spending by French and German tourists also declined last year.

Overall, retail sales were up just over 6 per cent compared to the same quarter and by 2.1 per cent versus the preceding three-months. The sales index for Ireland as a whole was more subdued, rising 4.2 per cent year-on-year and by 1 per cent compared to the previous quarter.

The latest Dublin Economic Monitor, which tracks 15 key economic monitors, shows that the city’s economic performance continues to improve, but also that longstanding issues such as housing, continue to be a problem.

The study shows residential rents in the capital gathered pace late last year, to exceed an average €1,500 per month for the first time. In addition, residential property prices recorded year-on-year growth of more than 10 per cent for a fifth consecutive month in October.

On a brighter note, unemployment in the capital fell to 6.1 per cent during the fourth quarter.

“Overall the Dublin economy performed well across 2017 with significant improvements in the labour market in particular,” said Lorcan Blake of EY-DKM Economic Advisory.

“Rising employment levels contributed positively in terms of consumer confidence and spending patterns over the course of the year, although pressure in the housing market continued to be problematic for many Dublin residents,” he added.