Third Quarterly Dublin Economic Monitor Launched

The third issue of the Dublin Economic Monitor is launched online today. A joint initiative of the four Dublin local authorities, 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 captures data from the height of the boom to the economic crash and the subsequent recovery. Most of these indicators show that Dublin is recovering strongly while there are also increasing challenges in the area of housing supply.

Key Highlights:  

  • Employment: Unemployment rates in Dublin fell rapidly in Q2 2015 as job creation accelerated. The current unemployment rate in Dublin is 8.1%.
  • Housing: Residential rents for Dublin houses and apartments increased for a 9th consecutive quarter.  Supply shortages continued to affect the market, and house completions remained weak with just over 1,500 completions in the first half of 2015.
  • Airport Arrivals: Passenger arrivals at Dublin Airport recorded strong growth in the first half of 2015 with over 6 million arrivals over the period (seasonally adjusted).
  • Car Licensing: New cars licensed in Dublin in August 2015 were one-fifth higher than for the same period in 2014.
  • Population: Latest estimates indicate that Dublin’s population expanded strongly by 2.4% (+27,300) in the year to April 2015 with over 1.3 million people now residing in the Dublin Region.
  • Consumer Sentiment: KBC/ESRI Dublin Consumer Sentiment in Dublin weakened somewhat in Q3 2015 from the record high in the previous quarter as consumers expressed caution around big-ticket purchases and the jobs market. 
  • Business Output: MARKIT Dublin PMI data showed continued strong growth across the board in Q3 2015, with improved business confidence and greater workloads boosting employment.

John Lawlor, Director of DKM Economic Consultants said: “Dublin is continuing to lead the national recovery with a number of key economic indicators starting to approach peak levels. Despite pressures on the real estate and residential rental markets, Dublin is performing strongly and will benefit further from the major infrastructure projects announced as part of the Infrastructure & Capital Investment Plan 2016 – 2021”.

Austin Hughes, Chief Economist KBC Bank Ireland said: “It seems that consumers in the capital are taking a cautious view of what is still an uncertain world. It is important to note the consumer sentiment survey suggests that, on balance, Dublin consumers remain positive about the outlook for the economy, jobs and household incomes. Lately, however, worries about the global economy, the high profile closures of Clery’s and Boyer’s and pressure on living costs in areas such as rents and insurance may have made them more concerned about the uneven nature of the upturn.”

Andrew Harker, Senior Economist at Markit said: “Dublin PMI data for the third quarter of 2015 signalled that the local economy continued to benefit from improving economic conditions. Although rates of growth in output and new business eased, the latest expansions were still substantial and therefore no cause for concern. Moreover, the labour market continued to strengthen as firms took on extra staff at an accelerated pace on the back of rising workloads and confidence regarding the near-term outlook. The Dublin private sector looks to be moving in line with the Irish economy as a whole at present, with the rest of Ireland also recording strong expansions in Q3.”

Strategic Development Zones

This issue of the Dublin Economic Monitor contains a special supplement on the six Strategic Development Zones (SDZs) designated in the Dublin Region since 2001.  A key purpose of SDZs is to enable the fast track delivery of new residential and non- residential development in locations of strategic importance in the Greater Dublin Area.  The supplement analyses the scope, focus and level of development delivered to date at each of the six SDZs.

Speaking about the special supplement in this issue, Annette Hughes, Director of DKM Economic Consultants said: “Dublin’s SDZs have the capacity to become major catalysts for sustainable economic activity across the Dublin Region and beyond, by accommodating significant growth in population and employment. With all of the SDZs located on major public transport corridors, they can provide much sought after sustainable development for the Region”.

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The Dublin Economic Monitor is published online every quarter. DKM Economic 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.