Whilst the impact of Brexit continues to cause uncertainty, research suggests that the Irish economy is showing signs of recovery of confidence.
There were some good news stories in retail this week. Dr Martens is to open their first store in Ireland (Dublin) as part of their expansion into the High Street. It has also just been confirmed that Value Retail, the owner of the popular shopping complex Kildare Village, has submitted plans for a €50m extension which would add another 29 shops and two restaurants to the scheme.
There however continues to be concern that any jobs dividend from Brexit would not be enough to offset the economic damage that the vote will cause Ireland. This sentiment was echoed by the US owners of the global brand Skechers. The Irish franchise holders of global footwear brand Skechers, Paul Gallagher and Sunil Shah, have announced that they plan another five stores across the island of Ireland in the next 12 to 18 months on top of the 18 stores they already have. However, additional expansion is on hold because the US owners of the brand have flagged a number of concerns about the Irish market relating to Brexit, high rents and the increase in the minimum wage. These concerns are being regularly argued to impact negatively on Ireland competitiveness.
Irish businesses and consumers have regained some confidence lost following last year's seismic Brexit vote, according to Bank of Ireland's latest Economic Pulse survey. The overall Economic Pulse reading in July stood at 96.6, up 0.2 points on the June figure and 6.9 points higher than the reading taken following the UK referendum to leave the European Union last year. The overall figure remains lower than its pre-Brexit reading, however