IBEC has said that strong competition in the retail sector is continuing to put downward pressure on prices, in its Economic Outlook for Q1 2016.
The business group noted that retail sales volumes grew by 6.4% and values grew by 2.5% in 2015. However, it added that retail sales volumes are 'still 13% below 2008 levels, despite volumes returning to their pre- crisis peak', as a result of increased retail competition.
In addition. the Economic Outlook report offered an assessment on the potential impact that a 'Brexit' could have on the Irish economy, noting that there is currently around a 30% chance of the UK deciding to leave the EU in the June referendum.
"A UK exit would send Ireland, Britain and Europe into uncharted and treacherous waters," said Ibec chief executive Danny McCoy.
"The value of sterling has already fallen significantly. A vote to leave would prompt a further significant depreciation, heaping pressure on businesses trading with the UK. This is in addition to the countless other risks that would arise during and after the period of a negotiated exit."
Ibec noted that GDP growth in Ireland is expected to slow to 4.6% in 2016, down from 7.8% last year, due to growing uncertainty surrounding the global economy and a potential Brexit.
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones