ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprise Association, has said that the latest round of CSO retail sales figures indicates the need for the government to reinstate the reduced PRSI for class A employees to boost retail employment.
The CSO data for November indicated a 0.2% increase in volume and a 0.2% decrease in the value of retail sales for the month.
In addition, ISME's Quarterly Business Trends survey showed that negative sentiment in the retail sector is in sharp contrast to general industry-wide feelings, as 9 out of the 10 retail indicators showed a negative move in the final quarter of 2014.
The survey also indicated that sales expectations among retailers surveyed decreased from +41% to +20%, while profitability expectations have decreased from +18% to -10%. However, retailers are keen to invest in their business, with +30% planning to invest more, an indication that there is still a budding optimism in the sector.
“As can be seen from the ISME Quarterly Trends survey, retailers are willing to invest in the future, despite the continuing low consumer spend. Government could support the sector by reinstating the reduced PRSI for class A employees, an investment in job creation”, said ISME chief executive Mark Fielding.
ISME also called for reductions in commercial rates and 'unrealistic' rents, increased emphasis on town centre revitalisation, and an increase in bank credit availability for SMEs, in order to stimulate growth in the retail sector.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones