• Dublin region continues to lead the National economic recovery

The second issue of the Dublin Economic Monitor was launched today. A joint initiative of the four Dublin local authorities, today’s launch hosted by Fingal County Council was held in IBM Smart Cities Lab in Dublin 15. The Monitor looks exclusively at the Dublin region which incorporates the four local authority areas of Fingal, Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown and South Dublin, and tracks 15 key economic indicators. It follows on from the Quarter 1 Monitor launched in April and captures data from the height of the boom to the economic crash and the subsequent recovery.

The decision to commission the Dublin Economic Monitor reflects the enhanced role of local authorities in the area of economic development and enterprise support, in line with the local government reform programme.

For many of these indicators, Dublin is now back at, or near its peak position.

Key facts:

  • Employment: Unemployment rates in Dublin continue to fall year on year albeit there has been some stabilisation in the first quarter. The current unemployment rate in Dublin is 8.9%.
  • Housing: Residential rents for Dublin houses reached their highest point in over six years while rents for Dublin apartments are now at 2008 levels. Excess demand continues to affect prices.
  • Airport Arrivals: Dublin Airport arrivals reached a record high in April 2015, breaking the monthly 1 million passenger mark for the first time, and repeating this again in June (seasonally adjusted). Passenger arrivals of 1.007m through the airport during April 2015 represents a year on year increase of 15.1%.
  • Dublin Port Traffic: Cargo likewise reached an all-time high, handling 8.1 million tonnes in the second quarter of 2015 representing an increase of 4% on same period in 2014.Tonnage at Dublin Port is now at its highest level in the past 9 years.
  • Car Licensing: Statistics continue on an upward trend reflecting the general economic upturn over the past two years. The number of new car registrations in May 2015 was 3,452, an increase of 29% on May 2014.
  • Consumer Sentiment: KBC/ESRI Dublin Consumer Sentiment is the highest in the history of the series. It continues to rise from its 2003 base figure of 100 to148.9 in Quarter 1 2015, and has risen again in Quarter 2 to 155.6.
  • Business Output: MARKIT Dublin PMI data points to strong accelerating expansion of output during Quarter 2, primarily driven by Services, but with the Construction sector also featuring; however the rate of job creation has slowed. Dublin PMI averaged 61.7 in Quarter 2, up from 59.5 in Quarter 1 where an index base reading above 50 indicates an overall increase in that variable and below 50 an overall decrease.

The Dublin Economic Monitor will be published online every quarter. DKM Consultants were engaged to produce the Monitor. KBC/ESRI were engaged to develop the Dublin consumer sentiment data and MARKIT to develop a new Dublin Purchasing Manager Index (PMI).

Dublin as a region has a pivotal part to play in driving national economic development – this cannot be overemphasised. It competes with other cities in Europe and further afield for foreign direct investment. It is essential that we maintain a strong focus on maintaining and enhancing Dublin’s attractiveness and competitiveness as a location in which to do business, to live and work in.

The Dublin Economic Monitor is intended to address the absence of a regular report on trends in the Dublin economy. It is aimed at businesses currently operating in Dublin and those considering locating here in the future. It provides a solid overview of how the Dublin economy is performing by tracking key economic indicators from employment to housing to consumer sentiment.

Cllr. Jack Chambers, Deputy Mayor of Fingal said: The Economic Monitor is a timely and welcome development, and will make a big contribution to public policy at Local Government level. I am very glad to have welcomed all the stakeholders to the second edition launch here in Blanchardstown, where our youthful population are the ultimate stakeholders in the economic recovery.

John Lawlor, Director of DKM Economic Consultants said: “The economic recovery initially led by Dublin is increasingly filtering out to the rest of Ireland. Volumes of traffic through Dublin Airport and Dublin Port are at record levels, and labour market conditions are continuing to improve. The construction sector is now beginning to see greater activity, which will help to address accommodation supply shortages over time”.

Austin Hughes, Chief Economist KBC Bank Ireland said: “Dublin consumers continue to grow more confident about the economic outlook and, more importantly, about their personal finances. As a result, the survey also finds Dublin consumers are signalling stronger spending intentions. These factors combined to boost Dublin consumer sentiment to its best level in twelve years.”

Andrew Harker, Senior Economist at Markit said: “Latest Q2 PMI data for Dublin signalled a rebound in growth during the second quarter of 2015, allaying any fears that might have been raised following a slight slowdown at the start of the year. Meanwhile, Dublin looks to be pulling the rest of Ireland along with it, with the rate of expansion in output outside Dublin also accelerating to a pace only marginally weaker than seen in the capital.”

Vincent Harrison, Managing Director Dublin Airport said: “The Dublin Economic Monitor special feature shows how Dublin Airport contributes in a significant way to the regional and national economies. The employment and trade impact in the region is considerable when we consider that the airport is 4% of the national economy. The future growth of the airport will stimulate and facilitate growth of the Dublin region and Fingal.”

Paul Reid, Chief Executive Fingal County Council said: “The economic recovery is well underway. Looking at the Economic Monitor we see an improvement across all metrics of the economy this quarter. Fingal plays a large part in the regional economy and The Dublin Enterprise Zone, where we have this seminar, will continue to provide quality jobs across many sectors and be a further stimulus for growth right across the region”