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Consumer confidence rises in Ireland

Consumer confidence and disposable income is growing in Ireland, according to new figures.

The latest retail report from property firm Savills found the shift to more full-time employment from part-time employment has boosted Ireland’s economic recovery. This helped retail sales rise 8.6% in July, the ninth consecutive month of growth, with consumer confidence now at its highest since January 2007, according to the report.

This has resulted in increased demand for retail space, Savills said, although it has been focused predominantly on prime high streets and shopping centres in Dublin and main regional cities where there was an increase in store openings in the second quarter of the year, including TK Maxx opening its second Dublin city centre store and Mint Velvet opening its first Irish standalone store in Dundrum.

Larry Brennan, chairman and head of commercial division at Savills, said: “Improving sentiment and sales have seen demand for retail space rise significantly, with competitive bidding for prime properties becoming commonplace. This in turn has led to rental increases in prime locations. Currently, zone A rental values are between €4,000 (£3,200) and €5,000 (£4,000) on Grafton Street and €3,500 (£2,800) and €4,000 (£3,200) on Henry Street.

Savills’ Ireland Retail Market in Minutes Q2 2014 predicts the anticipated 2.1% growth in employment overall this year will lead to continued improvement in the consumer economy.

Retailers with strong international brands are likely to perform better, with double digit sales growth likely in stronger shopping centres, the report said.

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