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60pc of spending online goes abroad

Ireland’s rocketing consumer spending has fuelled a surge in online shopping, but the upswing in digital purchases has come at the expense of local retailers.

According to a recent survey, 60pc of the cash spent by consumers online last year flowed offshore.

The findings were revealed in the latest Consumer Market Monitor published today by the Marketing Institute of Ireland (MII) and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

The results, which offer a broad snapshot of consumer trends, dovetail with research by Retail Ireland and Retail Excellence, which showed the relentless shift online is harming local retailers.

But the increased migration online comes as retail spending overall rose by 7pc in 2017 to €40bn, according to the survey. The jump reflects the fattening wallets of Irish consumers as disposable income hit €102bn at the end of 2017 – eclipsing the last peak in 2007.

Tom Trainor, head of the MII, said: “Continuing employment growth is increasing the disposable income in circulation.

“This has taken us just about back to the level we were at 10 years ago, before the recession stalled the economy.”

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