Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 10/23/2012 -- BMI View: Fiscal austerity, lacklustre price consumption and continued weakness within Ireland's housing market still weigh heavily on domestic demand. We therefore forecast that the Irish economy will contract by 0.5% in real terms over the course of 2012. Economic recovery also remains very much dependent upon strength in exports, and with the eurozone also in recession the external outlook looks far from robust.
Headline Industry Data (local currency)
- 2012 per capita food consumption -1.1%; forecast to 2016 +3.7%
- 2012 alcoholic drink sales +0.5%; forecast to 2016 +7.7%
- 2012 soft drink sales -0.9%; forecast to 2016 +8.8%
- 2012 mass grocery retail sales +2.6%; forecast to 2016 +15.1%
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Key Industry Trends & Developments
Growing US Demand Prompts Investment in Irish Whiskey: Scottish spirits producer William Grant has recently announced plans to invest EUR35mn in a new distillery for its Irish whiskey brand Tullamore Dew. The significant investment by family-owned William Grant reflects tremendous recent growth in the Irish whiskey category, which has recently also attracted investment from US spirits producer Beam Global. Demand for Irish whiskey is currently being driven largely by the US market, where sales increased roughly fourfold between 2002 and 2011. This represents compound annual growth of over 16% a year, and the fact that the trend has been sustained for nearly ten years is a strong indication that demand is set to continue growing at a rapid rate.
New Rules to Reduce Cap on Shop Sizes: New retail planning guidelines published by the Department of the Environment in early May 2012 will enable large supermarkets and superstores to be established in Dublin and other larger cities in Ireland. However, the rules will decrease the number of sites where warehouse stores can be built. The new guidelines allow the size of the large supermarkets to be increased from 3,500 square metres to 4,000 square metres in four local authority areas of Dublin. Prior to the economic downturn, Ireland's major mass grocery retailers posted consistently strong results, a trend blighted by the downturn but expected to return in its wake. The market is less mature than many in Western Europe, making expansion more straightforward. The hypermarket sector is showing consistent growth, and the number of hypermarkets is growing steadily.
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