Dublin's confidence growing despite housing crisis

Luas strikes have also had a "negative impact"...

Markit has released its latest 'Dublin Economic Monitor' and found that the city is performing buoyantly despite a number of pressing issues.

Employment grew marginally in the last quarter of 2015, with the latest Markit PMI indicators suggesting that it moved further ahead at the start of 2016.

The ESRI/KBC consumer sentiment index for the quarter was also positive when it came to the jobs outlook.

The housing crisis was top of the list of challenges that the capital of the fastest growing economy in the EU is facing.

The Dublin Economic Monitor reports:

"Housing difficulties in Dublin continue to intensify, judging by rental costs, which have breached boom-time record levels for apartments, and are almost there for houses. This will inevitably have implications for Dublin's international competitiveness".

It also states that legacy issues around debt are hampering the market's ability to function properly.

Meanwhile, retail vacancies in prime city centre locations are becoming scarce.

Another concern is the ongoing Luas strikes. According to the report, they are having "a negative impact, notably on city centre retail".

Despite these exceptions, economists remain upbeat.

Austin Hughes, chief economist at KBC Bank Ireland, commented:

"Dublin consumer sentiment improved in early 2016 on the increased optimism regarding household finances and the outlook for jobs.

"While consumers scaled back their views on Irish economic prospects, presumably reflecting increased uncertainty at home and abroad of late, this didn't prevent some improvement in their assessment of the buying climate. So, the survey suggests consumers in the capital grew in confidence of late and likely increased their spending plans".

Andrew Harker, Markit's senior economist, said of producer sentiment:

"Overall, the capital's economy continues to benefit from improving economic conditions in Ireland. There was further evidence that the rest of Ireland is, at least, matching the performance of Dublin. One area where this was not the case, however, was employment. Dublin companies increased their staffing levels faster than the rest of Ireland. This outperformance of the capital was the largest for a year".

The full report can be found at dublineconomy.ie