Monitor: Dublin unemployment falls to lowest level in 10 years amid economic resurgence

An economic monitor is reporting that Dublin is experiencing an economic resurgence with unemployment in the capital falling to its lowest level in a decade.

The 14th issue of the Dublin Economic Monitor reveals that the city's unemployment rate fell to 5.7% between April and June this year, the lowest level recorded in 10 years.

They said it reflected "a buoyant labour market" which now has 685,400 people employed in the capital.

However, they warned that housing and rising rents "continue to dampen potential".

The Mastercard Dublin SpendingPulse also shows consumer spending grew by 5.2% in the same quarter, year-on-year, with tourism spending particularly strong, growing by 16.2% in Dublin.

The figures show that this was predominantly driven by growth in the US market of 16.8% and 15.2% in the French market.

Ciara Morley, Executive at EY-DKM Economic Advisory, said: “Many of the indicators we report on in the Dublin Economic Monitor show that Dublin’s economy is firmly set on an upward trend.

"The unemployment rate is currently at its lowest level in 10 years with an additional 13,000 people employed in the last quarter alone."

"There is little doubt though that challenges persist and housing issues remain top of the list. While house price growth has stabilised, rents continue to rise and we are a long way off achieving the level of supply required to meet demand.”

However, Austin Hughes, Chief Economist at KBC Bank Ireland, said shoppers in the capital "became a little more cautious" due to nervousness over jobs brought on by a greater uncertainty over the global economy.

Mr Hughes said: "While the survey suggests confidence has slipped somewhat of late, it is important to emphasise Dublin consumers remain broadly positive in their thinking on the economy and their personal finances.”

Michael McNamara, Global Head of SpendingPulse, Mastercard said retail sales growth in the capital outstripped growth in the rest of the country.

Mr McNamara said: “Overall the retail environment in Ireland remains solid with 4.5% growth for retail sales across the country. Dublin‘s performance was particularly strong at a 5.2% increase over Q2 2017.

"On the tourism side, expenditure increased by 16.2% YoY with some of the most exciting growth in tourism spend coming from the US and China. The only area of struggling growth is from the UK, with negative growth continuing into 2018.

"A key area to watch over the next 6-12 months will be the influence of Brexit decisions on the euro/pound exchange rate and the pace of UK tourism spending.”

Andrew Harker, Associate Director at IHS Markit said the private sector in Dublin continued to perform strongly, with output growth rising from earlier in the year.

"Mr Harker said: "This improvement was partly due to a marked rebound in the manufacturing sector, which saw growth recover from the weather-affected slowdown in Q1.

"With new order inflows and hiring continuing apace, the Dublin economy is in a good position heading into the second half of 2018.

"Data suggest that strength in the Irish economy is not restricted to the capital, with rates of growth in output, new orders and employment in the Rest of Ireland only marginally weaker than recorded in Dublin.”

    Key Highlights:

  • There were an additional 13,200 employees added to the workforce in the quarter with 685,400 people now employed in Dublin. This is the highest quarterly increase in employment recorded in 10 years.
  • New data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) indicates that housing completions in Dublin totalled 5,600 in 2017, a 56% increase on the total completions recorded in the Capital in 2016. An additional 1,200 completions were added in the first quarter of this year.
  • Residential rents in Dublin rose 7.8% year on year (YOY), leaving average rents at €1,527 in Q1 2018, the highest level since the beginning of the series (Q3 2007). Similar rates of growth were recorded in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) and nationally (excl. GDA), registering 6.4% and 6.6% growth YOY respectively.
  • Residential property prices moderated slightly in May 2018, but still registered 10.7% YoY growth. This compares to YoY growth of 13% in the previous month. The series is now at its highest level since the beginning of 2009.
  • Savills Dynamic Cities Index 2018 ranks Dublin in 6thposition for commercial real estate investment, driven by its continuing emergence as a financial hub.
  • Public transport trips remained stable in Q1 2018 with 53.9 million trips (seasonally adjusted) undertaken in the quarter. Q1 2018 marked the first quarter in which the LUAS cross-city was fully operational and passenger numbers grew 3.8% QoQ.
  • Throughput at Dublin Port in Q2 2018 achieved a new high with 9.6 million tonnes (seasonally adjusted) handled in the three month period.

- Digital Desk

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