RETAIL EXCELLENCE IRELAND is urging government and media to refrain from unnecessary budget commentary, in order to help increase consumer spending.
The call came as general sales fell by 4.7 per cent for the second quarter of 2012, despite the KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment Index rising to 67.7 per cent for July, up from 62.3 per cent in June.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, the CEO of Retail Excellence Ireland, David Fitzsimons, believes that the current reporting of December’s budget is the “inverse of the good times,” where overwhelming positivity used to accompany budget announcements.
Believing that “speculation about austerity is often just that,” Fitzsimons said that the single best thing that government could do to help increase spending would be a “re-invigoration of the housing market”.
Citing the failure of government to bring in reforms concerning upward only rents, he believes that “we have austerity without significant reforms,” with retailers left to “suffer austerity when still suffering from austerity-level costs”.
Retail Excellence Ireland is a not-for-profit organisation which represents over 850 retail companies, who operate over 9,500 stores in the Irish market.