Dublin faces “very difficult times ahead” according to an economic indicator compiled on behalf of the four local authorities.
The report suggests that jobs may be permanently lost in tourism and retail in the capital, while the shift towards remote working in other sectors will change the way citizens travel and socialise.
While Dublin is expected to rebound from the Covid-19 crisis at a faster rate than the rest of the country, the report authors, firmly discount any prospect of a “V-shaped” recovery. This is where an economy suffers a sharp but usually brief period of economic decline, followed by a strong recovery
The Dublin Economic Monitor, which mainly covers the first quarter of the year, and thus doesn’t reflect the full impact of the recent economic contraction, collates data across Dublin including hotel occupancy, unemployment levels and consumer spending patterns.
The report , produced by EY-DKM on behalf of the four local authorities in the capital, shows the first quarter marked the end of nearly eight years of uninterrupted growth in the local economy. In the period, unemployment fell from a peak of 13.7 per cent in 2012 to just 4.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year. The report authors says the Covid-19 crisis reversed much of that progress in just a few weeks.
It also reveals that hotel occupancy rates were down 57 per cent year-on-year in April, when the country was in full lockdown with average daily rates 30 per cent lower than for the same month a year earlier.
Consumer spending declined during the first quarter due to shop closures and travel restrictions. With essential spending up 5.1 per cent and discretionary spending down by the same amount.